Vox Lux

USA, 2018. dir. Brady Corbet, 110 mins.

Distributor: Elevation Pictures

Date and Venue Opens Jan 10, 2019 at Rio Theatre, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

In an interview, Natalie Portman mentions how she idolized Madonna as a pop star in her teenage years, and wished she´d become one. That´s why she grabbed the opportunity to play a pop star. It was actually Rooney Mara who was to play the role but she backed out.

The film begins in 1999 with teenage sisters Celeste Montgomery (Raffey Cassidy) and Eleanor "Ellie" Montgomery (Stacy Martin), who have survived a seismic, violent tragedy. Corbet uses the Columbine massacre of 1999 as his springboard. After the tragedy which leaves Celeste paralyzed temporarily, the sisters compose and perform a song about their experience, making something cathartic out of the catastrophe and thus, becoming a national sensation. Celeste´s career with the help of her manager (Jude Law) takes off, and she is rapidly on her way to fame and fortune. By the film's second half, set in 2017, the now 31-year-old Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mother to a teenage daughter of her own (Raffey Cassidy) and still is in the limelight, fraught with personal scandals. As she is about to give a concert, another act of violence, another massacre, on a beach resort in Croatia, demands her attention.

Willem Dafoe who just starred as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity´s Gate, which was recently released, plays the narrator. This was another last minute change because the original narrator backed out.

© 2018 Ed Farolan