Vox Lux ★★★★½

“it was not her grief; it was theirs. no longer merely her experience, they reclaimed it as their own”

tragedy gave her wisdom, and stardom took it away. or at least changed it, morphed it into something else. the loss of innocence in exchange of fame, becoming the key cog in a perfectly oiled machine. the purpose of the machine is distraction: manufacturing happiness for a world that wants to ignore the ugliness and pain. at one point a young celeste pops a painkiller and hops on a stairmaster, the pop music her headphones blares into her ears drowning out the bleak news channel droning on in the background

a lot of this is realistically kind of messy, but i love that about it. all these various possible metaphors crammed into the persona of a fictional popstar. completely riveting. we never even get much real insight to the music itself: what it means, especially to her. because in the end, does it really matter? the last song finds the crowd joining in, their combined voices overpowering celeste until we can’t hear her at all. the music she (or anyone) makes becomes it’s own entity, belonging to the world now. it doesn’t even have to be good, because people will cling to whatever bits of happiness they can get their hands on to make it through. and when she performs, she finally seems complete. because sharing that happiness with the world is the only thing she was designed to do