Victim of a brutal school shooting, 13-year-old Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) is catapulted to fame after singing at her school’s memorial service. Chaperoned by her older sister (Stacy Martin) and manager (Jude Law), Celeste comes-of-age in the exciting fast-paced world of pop-stardom, intoxicated by the taste of fame and fortune. In the second act of the film, we are re-introduced to the now star (Natalie Portman), preparing for a comeback tour and battling bad press and her own demons.
“Structured like a fable with narration from Willem Dafoe, Vox Lux is totally unexpected and inventive in its delivery. Dafoe’s wise words guide the audience through Celeste’s journey, filling in the gaps between the jump from girl to woman.”
Superstar Sia writes the music for the film, providing Celeste with an electric set-list and injecting a needed authenticity into the songs. Dynamic musical performances help break up the film, with a haunting opening number from Cassidy and a passionate and explosive performance from Portman, as the seasoned star blows us away.
“Unafraid to go to dark places, a heavy sense of dread hangs over Vox Lux, even during Celeste’s early years. Never forgetting the circumstances in which Celeste came into the public’s consciousness, the tone remains mournful throughout. Rare moments of elation allowed to Celeste, are quickly brought tumbling down as she returns to reality.”
Vox Lux is a unique and ambitious film, of which although grounded in fiction, its gritty depiction of gun violence and terror is all too raw and relevant. With phenomenal performances to match the film’s challenging subject matter, Natalie Portman shines as the outspoken superstar whose outbursts, much like the film itself, both shock and impress.
Vox Lux screens at Phoenix Sat 18 – Tue 21 May. For showtimes and tickets, click here.