ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – N – Vox Lux (2018) Movie Review

This is under N because of Natalie Portman performance in the film.

Director: Brady Corbet

Writer: Brad Corbet, Mona Fastvold (Screenplay)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Stacy Martin, Jennifer Ehle, Raffey Cassidy, Christopher Abbott

Plot: An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star.


Tagline – A Twenty-First Century Portrait

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Plenty of Flash, No Substance

Story: Vox Lux starts in 2000 when high school student Celeste (Cassidy) is one of the many victims of a shooting in the school, left with spinal injuries, she must learn to walk and function again, turning to music with her sister Eleanor (Martin) to find peace in her life over the next days, weeks and months where she becomes an international music sensation, bringing the country together.

Jumping forward to 2017 another terrorist attack using the masks from Celeste first video might put a shadow over her latest performance, now Celeste (Portman) must work with her Manager (Law) to give a calm statement about the incident as we learn how much she has changed over the years

Thoughts on Vox Lux

Characters – Celeste can be split into two, first the school girl that was one of the victims of school shooting, who became an international music success over night, she kept her feet on the ground and found ways to continue to spread the world of her music despite only being 14/15 during this time. The second one the 31-year-old that has been working for nearly two decades in the industry, a mother that doesn’t always make time for her kid that her sister raised and is always thinking of the next big thing in her career. Celeste’s Manager has always seen the star making power and has always found a way to make Celeste the most important person in the room. Eleanor is the older sister of Celeste, she has promised to never leave her sister’s side and supports her through her career, despite her ending up with different mindset by the second part of her career. Albertine is the daughter of Celeste who is being raised by Eleanor, wanting to avoid the spotlight her mother is stuck in and isn’t as close as she should be to her mother.

PerformancesNatalie Portman gives us a wonderful performance in her role, while Jude Law is equally as strong, it is Raffey Cassidy that must be considered the best performer though, taking on two roles, first as young Celeste where we see the innocent nature and then as the daughter of the Celeste who feels neglected.

StoryThe story here follows a young teenage girl that is a victim of a high school shooting that suddenly becomes an international music sensation and we see how her career goes in a strange direction after jumping forward 17 years to her homecoming tour. Deep down you can see a message that seems to be focusing on the celebrity mentality being mixed into the cowardly terrorism action, showing how they can be used to capture quick headlines in the media. Outside of this, we do seem to jump from of the innocent nature of Celeste to the popstar that has been through the drug, drink and personal problems which has changed her nature dramatically. We do see how fame can change people with this and how life can go in strange directions, the down on the story is the random narration over everything which fills in blanks for a random reason and we won’t talk about the actual music, because that is awful to listen to, but it isn’t the point of the story.

SettingsThe film uses the main settings to show us just how much Celeste’s life changes, from schoolgirl to a European party trip before the big concert location.


Scene of the Movie – The first song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not a fan of the narration style even if Dafoe does make it enjoyable.

Final Thoughts This is one of the flashiest movies you will see, the performances are fantastic throughout, though we do focus on a couple of concert moments for too long and have a random narration which sees out of nowhere at times.

Overall: Concert Film Flashiness.

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