Directed by Brady Corbet, Vox Lux tells the story of a pop star named Celeste. As a teenager, she survives a school shooting and then becomes a viral sensation for a memorial service singing performance. Though Portman stars as the adult version of Celeste, English actress Raffey Cassidy plays dual roles as both Young Celeste and the singer’s daughter, Libertine. Filling out the cast, Jude Law has a supporting role as Celeste’s manager, and All the Money in the World’s Stacy Martin appears as Celeste's older sister. Vox Lux marks the second feature for Corbet, who previously released the Robert Pattinson film The Childhood of a Leader in 2015. Over the past 15 years, Corbet has worked with various cinematic auteurs as an actor, and their influence can be seen in his new feature.
Today, NEON released Vox Lux’s second trailer, which focuses less on Celeste’s personality traits and more on her origin story. To begin, the singer speaks to a concert crowd and promises to “take it back where it all began.” Through a hard edit, the trailer loses its organic feel by traveling back in time to Young Celeste’s star-making performance, but the clip ultimately picks up the pace by bringing the narrative full circle.
In the second half, Celeste performs her iconic song once again, this time as a superstar, and the moment allows Portman to shine while interpreting an original work by Sia. Celeste later comments about how “big moments” get taken away from her, which suggests that the film’s most powerful sequences will likely take place on stage, with the spotlight solely on Portman. Overall, the new Vox Lux trailer maintains the Oscar hype but doesn’t necessarily offer much depth about the film’s central characters.
After Vox Lux’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, critics gave the film polarizing reviews. Soon thereafter, NEON acquired Vox Lux for distribution, and the awards season buzz escalated for Portman, who is more than capable of elevating a film’s visibility with her acting alone. Throughout her nearly 25-year career in feature films, Portman has won two Golden Globe awards for Closer (2004) and Black Swan (2010), along with a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the latter drama.
While Corbet’s style of filmmaking may not translate to box office success, Vox Lux just may be effective enough to get people talking on social media. We’ll find out in December when Vox Lux is released theatrically.
- Vox Lux (2018) release date: Dec 07, 2018