Vox Lux

Vox Lux ★½

Wow, I guess I don’t understand the appeal at all here. This was such a frustrating experience of a film. The performances, the framing, along with the narration all work together to keep the viewer as distant and uninvested as possible in the story. At times it feels like a bad documentary. 
At other times, it’s either Cassidy or Portman doing an embarrassing accent while trying to speak life into a script that is so broad and confusing in its motive that I felt like every scene I was rolling my eyes. I love Portman, she’s a great actress, and I liked Cassidy a lot in Killing of a Sacred Deer, so I have no idea what happened here. A whole lot of the acting on the whole feels like it’s right out of the beginning of Mulholland Drive, unnatural and distant. Except in that movie that was the point, I don’t think it was intentional here.
I have to applaud the filming, which was really strong, there were some really nice low angle shots and long takes that really tried to pull you in. So, hey! Nice job there, Brady!
The script, though, is where Corbet really falls directly onto his face. Some of the dialogue is laughably bad (that whole diner scene was rough, oh man) even though there is such a confidence in the way that the film is structured and the message he is trying to send out with it. Do I think it was successful? Not for me, I’ll say that, mainly because I was unclear as to what it was trying to say about either pop music or terrorist acts or trauma or mental illness or anything, really. The only time I felt a glimmer of something was during the break down scene, I was like “Oh, some humanity, some emotions! Some kind of clue into possibly the point of this movie!” But then she just performs the show and I felt nothing again (also I love Sia but those songs were not good. Maybe that was the point? But it just went on forever.).
Maybe it’s me? Maybe it’s amazing and I didn’t get it? But even if there is some profound message to this movie that I missed, some connection between all these parts that finds them fitting together perfectly, the hokey dialogue and strange presentation and fluctuating pacing and some underwhelming acting can’t be defended in my book.
So, in conclusion: Vox Sux.

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