I think it is safe to say most people look at someone like Lady Gaga and say to themselves that you want that life. You want to have the money, the fame, the people to look after your every need, and all while being the version of yourself that you want to be. What it boils down to is we always want what we can’t have and when you don’t have fame and all that it entails, you think that is the dream life to have. The question though is would you be willing to give up the things that you have now, things like privacy and being able to do what you want when you want? I don’t think most people would know what they are getting into, but Vox Lux is the best window into that world I have seen.
Celeste ( Natalie Portman) career was birthed out of a tragedy . When she was in middle school she was nearly killed in a school shooting in which a lot of her classmates were not so lucky. During the public vigil not knowing how to put in words what she wanted to say she instead sings it with the help of her sister Eleanor (Stacy Martin). That song catches the attention of the world and it launches Celeste to pop star status. Innocent and religious Celeste is not ready for that world as it slowly starts to corrupt her. Years later we see the life that she lives, gone is the polite and innocent girl and instead is replaced by a woman who is floating through life, detached from reality. She has a daughter now who is the age she was when she started this journey whom she rarely sees and her manager (Jude Law) just wants to keep the machine going for everyone around Celeste. Her life, even with everything looks like a train wreck, but she is the world’s biggest star and when she needs to shine she does, but only at the cost of her soul.
Vox Lux feels like it could play as a Behind the Music segment on VH1 on just about any pop star diva over the last forty years. In Celeste you see the combination of more than a few of those stars in their good and their bad ways. This story by Brady Corbet, who also directs is told in three chapters, a birth and a rebirth being two of them as you watch a star be born. The three act formula is about the only thing that feels normal as Corbet wants you to feel the life of Celeste and visually the film is different in a way to entice your senses.
Celeste is the heart of this film and Portman as the older version is played in a way you have never seen her before. She just embraces the character and when you see her on stage you would think she really is the big thing in music and not some actress playing that. I loved this film and I feel it will only get better with more viewings. The story has been told before, but not in this way and you will have a hard time not tapping your foot to the rhythm. So before you sign that record deal to become the next big thing, watch Vox Lux, to be sure that’s what you want. For everyone else, see this film, because it is incredible and worth the time spent on both on and off the stage in a world few will ever know.