Natalie Portman

‘Vox Lux' Artfully Peers Into a Dystopian World of Pop Stars and Tragedy

Natalie Portman and Jude Law dissect "Vox Lux.'

What to Know

  • "Vox Lux" was directed by Brady Corbet.
  • Sia created original songs for the soundtrack.
  • Natalie Portman's husband choreographed her dance numbers.

At first glance, the trailer for "Vox Lux" might lead some to believe it's a twisted version of a Lady Gaga biopic. It isn't. It's a much deeper, dystopian look at pop stars and pop culture that will leave you uneasy, and questioning the price of fame.

"Vox Lux" follows the rise to fame of a young girl named Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) who survives a grave injury during a Columbine-style school shooting in 1999. When she recovers, she performs a song at a memorial service that becomes so popular, it catapults her into stardom where she says for the next 17 years.

Natalie Portman plays an older, edgy and somewhat tarnished version of Celeste who is mounting a comeback after a scandal. Celeste's manager throughout her rise and fall is played by Jude Law, who definitely does not have her best interests at hand.

It's hard to tell if director Brady Corbet ("The Childhood of a Leader") wants the audience to feel bad for Celeste or revile in what she's become. But one thing is certain, they will be moved by the music and Portman's visceral performance.

The songs in "Vox Lux" were written by pop superstar Sia specifically for the film, and the film's score was composed by singer-songwriter Scott Walker.

"The music is just incredible," Portman said. "We're so lucky to have the Sia original songs that are just absolutely incredible pop songs."

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Because of the strong music element and Gaga-esque makeup and clothes, comparisons will be made to "A Star is Born." But this is not a love story. It's a heartbreakingly unfettered look at what happens when fame and tragedy collide. Or worse yet, when tragedy creates fame.

"Vox Lux" opens in select cities on December 7th, and nationwide on December 14th. It stars Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Stacy Martin and Raffey Cassidy and was directed by Brady Corbet.

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