Vox Lux ★★★★½

I’ve been let down by more than a handful of 2018 films. The Nightingale, First Man, Widows, Suspiria... all movies I had been highly anticipating but ultimately disappointed in. Brady Corbet’s latest is one of the last remaining from my must see list, and as hyped as I going into it,  I’m happy to report Vox Lux is an incredibly rich experience, rocketing into the second half of my top 10 of the year.

There’s a lot going on under the hood. On its surface, we follow Celeste, a young singer, as she is propelled to stardom off the back of an unfathomable tragedy, and revisit her 17 years later, a pop superstar wearied by the shattered fragments of her past. There are many layers to the interpretable material on offer here. It’s not just a cautionary tale warning of the pitfalls of fame and impact of the commercialisation prevalent in the music industry, although it can just be that, if that’s all you want from it. It’s the type of film I can’t wait to jump back into and watch again, picking it apart at the seams to extract a different message. 

Natalie Portman is simply sensational, showing yet again that she is one of Hollywood’s strongest working female actresses. The rest of the performances are great, but all exist purely in support of Portman. Corbet’s direction is mature, beyond the limited experience he has had behind the camera. He has crafted an extraordinarily unconventional tour de force, an exhilarating and captivating tale that will no doubt beg to be revisited many times over. Bravo.

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