Despite being a late contender, Vox Lux has been hailed one of the great movies of 2018 since its debut at the Venice Film Festival last month.
This is Brady Corbet's third venture as writer/director, having previously enjoyed an impressive careeras an actor since his debut, at 15 years old, in Thirteen (2003). No stranger to the Biennale acclaim, Corbet's The Childhood of a Leader (2015) won him the festival's Lion of the Future Award for Best Film Debut and the Horizons Award for Best Director.
Corbet's loyalty to a strong cast and haunting storyline hold true for Vox Lux, the tale of one superstar singer, Celeste (played in her youth by The Killing of a Sacred Deer's breakout star Raffey Cassidy), whose tumultuous career in the spotlight started with a tragic memorial service performance gone viral as a child.
Years later, adult Celeste, played by Natalie Portman, must balance her post-traumatic struggles, with scandal, and a major career comeback, supported by her ever-faithful manager, Jude Law (Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley). Indie darlings, Stacy Martin (High-Rise, Nymphomaniac) and Christopher Abbott (It Comes At Night, Corbet's own Sleep Walker) round out the cast.
In the same way that the film has emerged as a dark horse for this Oscar season, Portman's relatively late appearance in the 110 minute run-time doesn't stop her from stealing the show with her mesmerizing portrayal of adult Celeste—a veritable embodiment of when pop virality goes wrong. To top it all off, the film boasts an original soundtrack by none other than Sia.
Could there be an Academy Award on the horizon for Vox Lux? The film hits select cinemas on December 7, 2018.