Vox Lux

Vox Lux ★★★½

In a thematic sense Vox Lux is exactly what I expected, an exploration of the ups and downs of fame and the effect of childhood events on adulthood, but Corbet finds a way to present it without compromising originality and style. Opening your film with a tragic school shooting is bold, but more daring still is how it takes this moment of trauma and turns it on its head: for Celeste, a kind and gentle high school girl who wrote a song to share her outpouring of emotion at the funeral for her classmates, it is this profoundly traumatic experience that propels her into international pop-stardom. Her emotions become a voice for millions of grieving people, and her individual grief is buried beneath it.

Soon, what began as a moment of raw emotional honesty is transformed. No longer is she sharing any part of herself, rather acting as the face of a carefully calibrated machine, where she doesn't get to have opinions without a press team ensuring it will be good for her career, a career that employs and inflates the egos of many. Her entire being is the effect of her situation, her emotional development altered and manipulated by being the center of a situation much larger than herself.

It's very far from a perfect film and its stylistic audacity results too often in wild unevenness, but it does compellingly portray a life lived in halves - the anti Hannah Montana "Best Of Both Worlds" sentiment, if you will. It is important to process and overcome the traumas and tragic events that inevitably mark our lives, lest we live in their shadows. More than anything, it exposes the curtain that hides a world of extravagances and excesses that accompany the lucky - or unlucky - who give their lives under the spotlight in exchange for hearing their names on the lips of a crowd.

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