Vox Lux (2018) Poster

(2018)

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5/10
Grim and vapid search for fame
Prismark1017 August 2019
You will think Vox Lux would be about the perils of pop music. It starts off with a horrifying school shooting.

13 year old Celeste Montgomery (Raffey Cassidy) survives but is shot in the neck. At an event held to remember the victims, Celeste sings a song that she co-wrote with her older sister Ellie. It becomes a hit and Celeste gets picked up by a pop manager as she encounters instant fame.

The second part of the film concentrates on the adult Celeste (Natalie Portman) in 2017. She is a jaded unhinged pop diva. Cynical and hard as nails who has encountered booze, drugs and infamy. Celeste actually lost her vision in one eye while drinking cleaning fluids. She was involved in a multi million dollar lawsuit as she ran over a man and then was racially abusive towards him.

Celeste is about to start a tour to promote her new album. Her daughter Albertine (Raffey Cassidy) who has been raised by Ellie has recently lost her virginity. Celeste becomes unsteady and incoherent with booze, her daughter's sexual experience and a terrorist attack in Croatia which might be linked to her music. At one point it looks like Celeste is in no fit state to perform at the concert.

Vox Lux is deliberately episodic in structure and never joins up properly. The caustic narration by Willem Dafoe paints the movie as a warning of the corrosive effects of stardom. Celeste has long ceased to be a real person. The ending at a pop concert feels strangely muted, sudden and unsatisfying. Portman excels as Celeste just as Cassidy who plays dual roles but the film has nothing new to say.
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6/10
Fame - what is it good for?
kosmasp3 August 2019
Especially when it comes through being a literal survivor of a despicable act - something I had no idea was going to happen, but sets quite the mood for the movie. We have different stages here and this might work as a good double bill to a documentary called "F... Fame". Well I don't think I have to spell the F word out for you to understand.

This works as criticism about how society views celebrities, fame and how this might change everyone involved. But it is quite slow in its pace and it is rather subtle in its message too. So while the performances might seem over the top at times, that does not go for the understanding of the movie or what it represents. Which might and will feel frustrating to watch for quite a few people - I'm split too on my verdict as you can see. Can't blame the actors who really do their best
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Sell your soul and become a big pop star.
TxMike10 April 2019
I watched this at home on DVD from my public library, my wife chose to skip. What does the title mean? We find out it is the name of her next album. "Vox" refers to musical vocals, "Lux" is a reference to illumination. Maybe "brilliant vocals"?

One only needs to read a few reviews and realize this is a very polarizing movie, but the many "Avoid this movie" comments and ratings of "1" or "2" are simply bogus, probably from very shallow viewing. Portman is amazingly good in her role and the story strikes a chord, but one has to pay attention all the way through. You can't watch this while reading and sending text messages to friends. The story is probably a lot closer to reality than we want to believe.

I have been a Natalie Portman fan ever since her first role in "The Professional", I like everything she does, although I like some more than others. Here she is the grown up Celeste in 2017, but the story starts in 1999 when she survives a school shooting in the very first scene. Her infamy plus a simple song catapults her to international stardom but as a 30-something has changed drastically. Does fame just harden you, or is there more going on?

The following comment may represent a SPOILER so read cautiously. At one point to an audience she says "I used to believe in God also" and later we find out in her near death experience at 14 she says she made a deal with the Devil, she would live and be successful but she has to do so under those conditions. And it seems to be an indirect reference to perhaps that is the way many pop stars become successful, by figuratively selling their souls.

To me this is a really good movie but not for shallow viewing.
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Great production but the plot got lost
Gordon-1127 February 2019
This film tells the story of a young girl who becomes a superstar because of a tragedy that grips the nation's hearts.

Celeste is very likable and innocent to start with. Then half way through the film and fast forwarding a decade, she becomes a super unlikable person. She is so horrible to everyone around her, that every bit of me feels repulsed by her. The ending concert scene is spectacular, but I find it rather unnecessary. It is there to sell the soundtrack album, and it is not there for the story. I actually got a little bored by the three full songs that I was subjected to, despite the visual feast. To sum up, the production is great, but the story got a bit lost.
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7/10
GLITTERY POP MUSIC AND SOCIAL COMMENTARY...AWKWARD AND UNCOMFORTABLE
LeonLouisRicci10 September 2021
An Unconventional Mix of Society's Modern Tragedies with "A Star is Born" Story of Diva Cliches Coated with an Excessive Exuberance from All Involved.

It Certainly isn't Director/Writer Brady Corbet's Lack of Hubris or Talent that got this Made in the Same Time Span as another Film/Diva Inserts Itself on Cinema (the 4th version).

Vox Lux has No Qualms Taking On the Shattering Global and Personal Pain brought on by Violent Misanthropes.

Weaving the Events in a World of Super-Star Foibles, Misdeeds and Ego, Exploiting both as it Struggles to Give a Voice with Coherence and a Profound Reconciliation.

The Film has an Arrogance about it to Match the Diva-Devil of the Tabloids and the Murderers "My God is the True God" and this Slaughter will Prove it.

Coupled with the Lone-Gunman Type Killer that has been Bullied and Ostracized, and will have No More.

These are the "Days of Our Lives" "As the World Turns" and Here We Have a Soap-Opera Soundtrack.

The Glitter-Glam Pop Comfort/Distraction to Help make it all Somehow Livable Through the Suffering.

Natalie Portman's Daring Portrait Goes Fittingly Over the Top.

She Sings and Steps along with the Movie's Idea.

It's the Creators Belief that this Thing would be Considered a Statement Worthy of the Effort.

But it's an Audacious Amalgamation of so Many Real-Life Pop-Politics and Political-Politics Things.

It makes the Brain Boggle.

With the Brain Boggling Events that Headline Our Daily Lives, Film is a Fitting Format for the Attempt.

Gallantry Trying to Explain the Hardly Explainable with a Delivery System that is Ripe for the Riffing.
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7/10
You'll either love it or hate it, but you will talk about it....
CinemaSerf1 December 2019
I think Natalie Portman pulls this off well. Her portrayal of the talented but self-destructive rock star rings true of many a tale written of real talent that has got lost in the blurred existence between reality and notoriety - and that's without the additional repercussions of having been the survivor of a shooting at school. Does it trivialise the relationship between terrorism (or gun-toting insanity) and pop music or does it demonstrate the essential need for the latter to go on regardless of the former? Brady Corbet has come in for some stick for his tackling of this, but I feel that harsh - this does make one think and perhaps test our own sense of values and principles. It will continue to divide opinion, but is none the worst for that.
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3/10
Total Dud
evanston_dad28 May 2019
Dud of a movie that stars Natalie Portman as a pop star whose life is in a shambles but who is idolized by millions despite the fact that her concerts look like the child that would result if ABBA and "Starlight Express" got drunk at a party and had unprotected sex in the bathroom.

The gimmick is that the actress who plays Portman's character as a young woman plays Portman's daughter later in the film. Portman's character was the survivor of a school shooting, which somehow impacts the person she becomes and presumably accounts at least partially for what a total raving nut job she is, but the movie is so ineptly made that it's never made clear how or why. The film also brings in themes of terrorism and the responsibility famous people have to account for real-world actions they may have a role -- whether intentional or not -- in influencing. This is actually an interesting idea to explore further, but I guess we'll have to wait for a different movie to do so. This one is too preoccupied with following Portman around as she competes for the title of Most.Aggravating.Pop.Star.Ever and dares us to keep a hold of our patience and composure while we do so. Seriously, do people in the entertainment industry thing having talent and being addicted to drugs is enough to make people interesting? They're not, and watching Portman aggressively try to act like she's having a non-stop nervous breakdown for an hour and a half is about as tedious as it sounds. Nothing is helped by the fact that Portman doesn't have the acting chops to pull this character off. Maybe she just needs better direction, because Darren Aronofsky managed to make her convincingly unhinged in "Black Swan." Here she isn't remotely believable for one second as an aging pop star.

I would say I want my money back if I had actually spent any to watch this.

Grade: D
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6/10
A pretentious failure, saved only by Portman's performance
siderite10 March 2019
The subject is intriguing: an exploration of the current age, focused on artificial fame and mass shootings. When I heard about the basic plot of the film, I thought it would be the counterpart for A Star is Born and therefore I was expecting quite a different story. But no, the occasional emotional moments are blown apart by the unnecessary and overly cerebral narration, the plot goes all over the place, the split in four acts only shows how pretentious the whole thing is while it is basically saying nothing. And the ending? Having to watch Portman sing several pop songs was painful. Not because of her, but because of the awful music.

The thing is, Natalie Portman is fantastic! She portrays her character perfectly. Unfortunately, that's the only good (and short) part of the film. The young actress first gives me great hope, then she's replaced, Willem Dafoe's narrator is superfluous at best and Jude Law was wasted on his role. In the end it just feels like someone tried to do something very deep and intelligent without actually using their brain.
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7/10
A satire and spin on pop culture, success, fame, tragedy and celebrity.
blanbrn19 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Vox Lux" is a different kind and style of film one that's not great, yet more of a spin and take on today's fame of culture and success. It's a film that's spread over an 18 year period and it involves a brutal tragedy a school shooting. And Celeste(the beautiful and cute sweetheart Natalie Portman) who survived the incident grows from it and develops a hit song and along the way after she becomes a mother more stardom has hit and along the way more violence and scandal and dealing with fame and life become all too the norm. Overall this film is an attention grabber proving how media, culture, tragedy, fame, success all work in one.
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6/10
VOX LUX is a curious signpost of a young filmmaker's trial-and-error path to maturity, though at the expense of Portman's ill-fated star turn
lasttimeisaw17 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
After hobnobbing with European arthouse dignitaries like Lars von Trier (MELANCHOLIA, 2011), Olivier Assayas (CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA, 2014), Ruben Östlund (FORCE MAJEURE, 2014), Bertrand Bonello (SAINT LAURENT, 2014), former actor Brady Corbet, who has sinked his teeth before the camera in Gregg Araki's MYSTERIOUS SKIN (2004) and Michael Haneke's FUNNY GAMES (2007), officially takes the director chair, and VOX LUX is his second feature, after THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER (2015).

Structurally divided into 4 parts: prologue, act I: genesis, act II: re-genesis and epilogue, and outsourcing much of its story-wise content to Willem Dafoe's comforting if monotonous voice-over, VOX LUX is a rigid dichotomy about pop star Celeste (played by Cassidy as a 14-year-old and Portman in a full diva mode, 17 years later), both timelines are induced by heinous acts (a school shooting and a terrorist attack on a beach resort, incidentally, there is something rather unsavory in wantonly rubbing out someone as genial as Maria Dizzia), which ironically point up the transmogrification between Celeste's the teenager and Celeste's the diva, from a mass killing survivor to a temperamental artiste whose iconography is used for another mass killing, and alas, that the passage VOX LUX chooses to omit.

Instead, condensing the second-half into one opening day of Celeste's homecoming concert, Corbet shifts the burden entirely onto Portman's terrific transmutation into an insufferable prima donna, who dominates every single second of the frame henceforth and does a pyrrhic job to magnify Celeste's mutable interactions with her retinue and the media, trying to connect with her daughter (again, played by Cassidy, and elicits some confusion prima facie), bullying her elder sister (a strangely amenable Stacy Martin who has a gaping age difference to surmount) and coaxing her long-time manager (Jude Law, humbly playing a second fiddle sans any trace of bravado), all leads to the fluorescent climax, the show must go on, however, counterpoised by recent sensational hits like Bradley Cooper's A STAR IS BORN (2018) and Bryan Singers' BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2018), Corbet's staging looks miserably perfunctory and Portman's assiduous dancing routines almost risible, as if she strains to portray a pop star who has already been over the hill and is spoiling for one last chance of revivification against her stiff body, yet the film doesn't prepare us enough meat to support that particular angle, not to mention, Sia's songs (who also dubs Portman's singing voice) are atrociously unmemorable, whether this is intentional or not is elusive.

Incubating a continental otherness that distantiates itself from massive USA productions (relocating the end credits right after the horrific prologue is a nice move, for instance), and over-indulging in home-video, fast-forwarding trickeries to ginger up the game, VOX LUX is a curious signpost of a young filmmaker's trial-and-error path to maturity, though at the expense of Portman's ill-fated star turn.
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1/10
my notes
FeastMode27 July 2019
Don't even know what to say. didn't finish it. how do these movies get made. i had this as "not interested" but i decided to check it out because it was on schmoes know's best movies of the year smh (1 viewing)
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7/10
A Haunting Version of A Star is Born
ThomasDrufke19 December 2018
I waited nearly 4 days to write this review/reaction because I genuinely wasn't sure how I felt after seeing Vox Lux. I'm not the first one to say this but it's quite the pairing with A Star is Born for what could be the best double feature of 2018, with both portraying such a vastly different take on rise to stardom. Much like other 2018 films Hereditary and 22 July, there are a few scenes in Vox Lux that I will never forget in that they are some of the most haunting and terrifying sequences I have ever seen on film. However, a film like 22 July had an easier plot to follow and a much more direct narrative, whereas Vox Lux is a dark interpretation of fame, and an interpretation that doesn't give the clearest clues as to how your supposed to feel after viewing. The performances are extraordinary, including yet another star-making turn from Raffey Cassidy and expectedly great turns from Jude Law and of course, Natalie Portman. Even if I'm not totally sure on how I feel about this film, I know that I want more films to be this bold and daring.

7.4/10
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7/10
Wild and crazy movie about a Britney Spears-like singer, with brilliant Natalie Merchant
paul-allaer15 December 2018
"Vox Lux" (2018 release; 119 min.) brings the story of Celeste. As the movie opens, we are in the "Prelude - 1999", where then 13 yr. old Celeste is in her music class, and in the wake of a tragedy, she and her older sister Ellie start writing songs, One of them becomes an overnight smash and Celeste finds herself a Britney Spears-like star at age 14. That gets us to "Act I - Genesis 2000-2001". at this point we're 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from erstwhile actor, now writer-director Brady Corbet. Here he looks at the life of a pop star, and what that life is like. Beware: the first 5 min, of the movie are nothing short of shocking, and that's all I will say about it. Natalie Portman, who features prominently in the movie's marketing campaign (for obvious reasons, doesn't appear until "Act II", which comes one hour into the movie. That Act II is quite the surprise as well, as it is set in a single day of now 31 yr. old Celeste who is about to embark on a tour to promote her new album "Vox Lux". Portman is utterly brilliant in her performance, while playing a thoroughly unlikable character. But let's give credit to her supporting cast as well: Jude Law is okay as Celeste's manager. Raffey Cassidy is very convincing in her roles (yes,plural), and Stacy Martin (remember her from "Nymphomaniac") is more than solid as Ellie. Please note that Natalie Portman and Raffey Casidy do their own singing. In case you didn't know: Sia wrote all the original songs, and they are very enjoyable, in a Britney kinda way. It isn't until the end credits roll that we get to see the movie's full title "Vox Lux A Twenty First Century Portrait", and that is actually a very accurate reflection of what this movie is. Beware: if you are expecting a "commercial mainstream" movie, you are going to be sorely disappointed. This is anything but commercial or mainstream, and very much an "artsy" movie. As it is, I quite enjoyed it.

"Vox Lux" premiered at the Venice film festival in September, to good acclaim. The movie finally opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended dismally (1 person besides myself). Honestly, I can't see this playing long in theaters. For that the movie is probably too polarizing and/or off-putting. But if you are in the mood for an "artsy" film about the life of a Britney-like fictional singer, I'd readily suggest you check this out in the theater (while you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
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1/10
Poor effort all around.
dfranzen7016 October 2019
An astonishingly bad movie from start to finish. Well, almost. The first 25 minutes or so are pretty harrowing, as they center around a school shooting and set the stage for the remainder of the film, but after that there's very little to recommend. Vox Lux is about a girl who, after suffering a tragedy, goes on to become a hit pop singer. Natalie Portman stars as the grown-up Celeste and Jude Law plays her character's manager. Neither seems well suited for the role, particularly Portman (one of six executive producers of this mess), who just doesn't fit as a volatile musician. Here's a fun fact. The actress playing the young Celeste is British and makes no effort at an American accent (the movie is set on Staten Island, NY). This would be fine if the grown-up Celeste also had a British accent, but no. Instead we have a grating, nasally overdone approximation of a New York accent from Portman, who (it should be said) is not Meryl Streep when it comes to accents. The final half hour or so is wildly anticlimactic and feels pointless. As does the entire film, to be frank. A lot of this may be a by-product of the director (Brady Corbet) adapting his own screenplay; the turgid, overwrought narration (by Willem Dafoe) introduces plot elements and dismisses them just as abruptly. Oh, and if you're the kind of person who loves credits, you're in luck! The first ten minutes include the credits - all of them, it would seem - playing over the movie's lead-in to the school shooting. Now you don't have to wait 'til the end to see who helped with this monstrosity. If you want to see Natalie Portman play a haunted artist, see Black Swan instead. This dreck isn't worth your time.
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8/10
Engaging Musical Drama
Pairic17 May 2019
Vox Lux: A drama about a school shooting and how a girl, Celeste, became a pop star afterwards. A film of two parts with Celeste being played by Raffey Cassidy as a teen in 1999 and Natalie Porter as an adult in 2017; Raffey plays Celeste's daughter Albertine in 2017. Willem Dafoe is the narrator and telescopes years and events as Celeste survives a school shooting, sings a memorial song composed by her older sister Ellie (Stacie Martin) and then goes on to achieve stardom. Jude Law plays The Manager who launches Celeste on the road to success. The first half of Vox Lux is bookended by the school shooting and 9/11. In 2017 Celeste is still a star (if fading) and is planning a major event in her home area Staten Island to launch her new album Vox Lux. Once again Dafoe telescopes events, updating us on Celeste's drug and legal problems. Ellie is still there in the background, now a chaperone/nanny for Albertine. Celeste's drug taking and alcohol abuse threaten the viability of Staten Island event.

Jude Law is superb as the sleazy manager who ends up seducing the ever hapless Ellie, her talents unrecognised. Raffey Cassidy is exploited as she herself exploits others and so the merry go round continues in 2017. Some really disturbing/emotional scenes during the school shooting at the film's opening where the young actors are at their best especially when they think things will be alright only to face slaughter. Porter is a short-fused squirrely Celeste, paranoid, in need of constant reassurance and indulgence. She seems torn between using Albertine as a prop to sustain her career and genuine maternal affection. But it is Ellie who is the real mother and still a songwriter for Celeste. Engaging Musical/Drama directed and written By Brady Corbet. 8/10.
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9/10
Disturbing and Brilliant
truemythmedia8 August 2019
"The expression writ on my face while I watched this movie was grim. I don't think I smiled more than a few times. When I heard what this film was about, the rise of a pop star, I had no idea how dark of a tale I was in for, nor did I expect this film to feel so epic. This movie has some very intense violence, some incredibly uncomfortable situations, and a protagonist who behaves abhorrently at times. At the same time, this is a film that has a powerful voice and an uncompromising vision. I feel like this movie will polarize people (the reviews have shown as much); you'll either love it or hate it. I loved it, but I would not say that it was an enjoyable experience.

Though I understand why someone would not like this film, as Portman's character is more often unlikable than not, I am a little surprised this film didn't get more attention, particularly in the cinephile community. This is not a fun watch (though on my second watch I found it a little more darkly humorous than I had originally), but it is a fantastic film with really bold artistic choices as far as direction goes, and there are also some stellar performances from Portman, Law, and Cassidy. I feel like you'll either love this movie or hate it. Either way, I can guarantee you'll remember it.
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5/10
Missing an Act
davidmvining22 November 2019
When I write my Bergman reviews, they often end up feeling a bit like writing academic exercises because I engage with the ideas behind the action so fully. I'm not sure it actually comes across, but in front of those ideas are dramatic mechanisms that drive the ideas and give them appreciable form. What I saw from Vox Lux was a movie that had the ideas but not the dramatic mechanisms.

The movie is broken up into four sections, a prelude, two acts, and then a finale. The majority of the action is, obviously, in the two acts. Two act structures are hard. Kubrick did them a fair number of times (the most obvious to me is Barry Lyndon), but they tend to show a rise and then a fall. There's a dichotomy that applies naturally to the structure, so that when you don't actually get it (and the movie kind of pretentiously draws attentions to the fact that it is doing it) the experience is off.

The story is about a young girl who survives a school shooting, sings at a televised memorial, and then gets launched into pop super stardom overnight. The first half of the film deals with her at fourteen, experiencing the tragedy and making her first album. There are a couple of important relationships between her and her manager and her sister. Jude Law's manager operates as some kind of conscience as we watch Celeste enter the very first stages of becoming a prima donna. The first act ends with a falling out between the sisters when the Celeste's elder sibling sleeps with the manager and then 9/11 happens immediately after.

We then jump to Act 2 and 2017. Characters have completely changed and we spend almost the entire act just simply getting to know them again. We saw the beginnings of the fraying relationship between the sisters, but in Act 2, it's a disaster and we get hints of why it developed that way. There's a daughter (played by the same actress who played Celeste as a 14 year old) and a lot of time dealing with her relationship to Celeste and her aunt. Instead of building on Act 1, we simply completely reset and have about 45 minutes of character time with characters we effectively don't know from Act 1.

Then we see why Natalie Portman took the role: about 15 minutes of her playacting as Lady Gaga on stage, which is the finale.

The film is dramatically incoherent. It feels like it's missing a second act to bridge the two existing acts together. The second act that's there spends so much time reintroducing us to characters after an hour of movie time that it's hard to engage with the film after that. I was actually on board with the movie through its first act, but the second act simply killed that engagement.

Still, as implied earlier, there are ideas here. There's intelligence to the film that I simply cannot deny. The first act ends with one act of terrorism and the second act begins with another. Celeste begins the movie as a devout Christian, and in the second act she holds a press conference where she calls herself the new faith. The performance at the end contains interesting visual images that feed into all of this. The ideas are there, but the movie presents them so poorly. It's a frustrating experience because I wanted to like the movie more. It felt like there was something there to dig into, but the writer/director intentionally made it more opaque and difficult to grasp than necessary.
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2/10
Are we doing this again??
blott2319-123 June 2020
Vox Lux is another in a long line of rockstar movies that goes down all the same old roads. You'll see drugs, and sex, and a once innocent young girl turn into an intolerable egomaniac. If there's anyone in the world who isn't tired of this never-ending trope that seems to crop up in more movies every single year, then maybe this is one you can try to see how awful these movies can be. Frankly, I'm kind of bored with the whole thing. Vox Lux tries to take a new path with the story by connecting her career with tragedies, but I don't think that made much difference for me. It felt like they were trying to say something about senseless acts of violence and societies desire to numb ourselves rather than dealing with them, but I don't think the film was effective at presenting that message. Putting it in the context of the traditional pop-star self-destructive plot dilutes the whole thing.

It doesn't help that Natalie Portman is a terrible actress who delivers a performance that is so far over-the-top that it's almost impossible to see her as the same character that Raffey Cassidy played in the first half of the film. I suppose I should be glad that Portman had such a limited role, but even in small doses I find her acting obnoxious. It's also worth mentioning how weird and off-putting the casting decisions are in Vox Lux with the shifting role of the aforementioned Raffey Cassidy, and then the choice to not recast Stacy Martin for the second half. I think the film as a whole is making an attempt to be something new and interesting, but the end product felt old and routine. If anyone figures out a better way to make a movie about a recording artist who gains unexpected fame, then I'll be first in line to see it, because seeing the same old stuff is annoying.
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6/10
Vox Lux (2018)
rockman1829 December 2018
Didn't know a whole lot about this film, so this was basically a film that benefited from the AMC stub list membership. Decided to go in completely blind; no trailers, no reviews, just that poster of Natalie Portman in blue glitter. From that, i was expecting some type of sci-fi futuristic musical. That's not what the film is, as you will find out within the resounding first five minutes or so. I found this film to be a bizarre mess that doesn't exactly know what its doing.

The film is about a teenager who is a victim of a school shooting. From that event he and her sister gain popularity from a musical performance at a memorial service which eventually molds into a music career. Soon, Celeste (the adult lead played by Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy in her youth) falls into the pitfalls of super stardom which includes promiscuous behavior, drugs, and mass interaction with an unrelenting media. The film also stars Stacy Martin (who I loved in Nymphomaniac), and narrated by Willem Defoe.

The film starts off with a bang and the first twenty minutes or so are rather incredible in its build because of its mix of shock and intense drama. However, when Celeste starts her rise as a pop star the film starts losing its soul much like Celeste in her career. Oddly, enough as soon as Celeste the star grows up and Natalie Portman enters the fray, the film starts losing its plot and derides itself into a messy piece that doesn't connect with its viewers. The acting is great all around, especially from Portman but she is let down by a script that doesn't know what its trying to be or what its trying to prove.

I left the theater kind of bewildered by the end product. I may have preferred a futuristic musical space opera then what we got. I think there will be a crowd out there that will go to bat for this work but it doesn't resonate with me unfortunately. The positive that comes from this film is that now I can use the term Vox Lux as a word the way I want. i have truly been luxed by this experience.

6/10
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6/10
hmm
djurrepower17 February 2020
Movie felt a little out of place storywise. it goes from extreme long cuts, to summeries of narration. acting was fine though, but what really kept me in this film was its camerawork. some stage scenes were a little too long, but overall was really impressed.

6/10: normal, with good camerawork
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5/10
There's Art in the Inarticulate
ThurstonHunger30 March 2019
Felt to me, like a film proud of its inarticulateness.

Or maybe a fear of the committing to or condemning of pop art?

Interesting to have Scott Walker (recently RIP) on board for the score as he dismissed pop music for discovery, but Brady Corbet seems to tilt towards pop as a suitable antidote for modern miseries. Personally, I prefer it as a placebo, but one the patient has to believe in.

I do see that Walker and Corbet have worked together before, so I'll have to check that out.

Portman hits her dance and collapse steps nicely, but her role as mother/sister came across as artificial as the stage goddess that the fans go gaga over. Could be that was intended but the film ends up like her mascara, a halfway compelling mess.

The subplots of gun violence and celebrity killers, as well as sloganeering dumbed down leaders of political and pop culture might float to the top eventually. It's not quite the They Live of this generation I feel.
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8/10
If "A Star is Born" and "Black Swan" had a baby....
Alexander_Blanchett24 February 2019
This was an interesting film about the rise of a huge pop star whose music but also live gets inspired by some terrible events. It is an interesting draft to tell a success story and I found It generally very relatable and the character development of lead character Celeste constantly very interesting. The acting was also great. I really loved Natalie Portman in the role of the older Celeste. Portman doesnt only give us a new inspiration of her "Black Swan" character but rather plays a similar depressed/disturbed character but gives it a totally different appearance, emotionally as well as expressionally. Another great performance on Natalie Portman's resume. I really liked Rafffey Cassidy who wonderfully plays the young Celeste and gives a huge emotional depth to that role. Jude Law was also great and he really fitted that for him rather unusual role. Another very memorable performance came from Stacy Martin. Her character and performance really went under my skin as well. Very good music, especially the most prominent song of the film, sang by Cassidy. Nice look and symbolism. A good mix of " A Star is Born" and "Black Swan".
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3/10
Poor film.
SameirAli12 September 2021
It's very boring musical drama. Natalie Portman was different and cool though. Totally avoidable film.
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4/10
Nah
thekingsdom27 June 2019
The audio in this film was bad. I had to put headphones on and then turn the volume up and down throughout the whole film. Sadly, the storyline is just as bad. Scenes go on forever and the story is a mess with no resolve. It was also really boring. 4/10
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5/10
So what?
Dragonborn649 March 2019
Portman's character says at one point that having an angle is all you need these days- substance is meaningless. I'm not sure what the angle really is in Vox Lux- due to extreme circumstances a young girl in thrust into pop stardom and becomes something of a self absorbed, often mean but then contrite twit. Fame corrupts? The thin plot I can handle but the character in neither original or inevthat evokes much feeling about anything.
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