Vox Lux ★★★★

Like I, Tonya on steroids.

This is going to be the film that will piss many people off. After the film finished I could overhear conversations and I talked to my friends about the film and comments ranged from "pretentious" "too artsy" "a mess" and of course me uttering "a literal masterpiece". And I very much stand by that statement and I will shout it from rooftops: Vox Lux is a goddamn masterpiece. The film is messy, wild, and completely bonkers exploring a piece of film-making that feels like a term that Lady Gaga coined "the reverse warholian experience". Vox Lux is transgressive as it chronicles the tangled story of the deeply troubled and glamorous Celeste. Celeste who is given life by acting veteran Natalie Portman plays this character like the legend that she is. Her performance is transformative and a true expression of performance art. From mere facial expressions to body language Natalie Portman completely morphs into a graceful yet biting pop star who will not be denied or ignored. Natalie Portman offers a performance that is at the same caliber of her work in Black Swan and Jackie, I suppose this can be a trilogy of the psychologically damaged women Portman perfectly emulates. Jude Law is pretty amazing as well as Celeste's more reserved but snappy manager. The entire cast does a pretty amazing job in this film. Not only is the cast amazing but Brady Corbet offers some of the best direction I've seen all year. Every frame in Vox lux is calculated but rampant with nuance and mastery. These shots are meticulous and vibrant while being perfectly stitched together creating what is one disorienting cinematic experience. The musical numbers are bombastic and grandiose in size with some Sia bops while other segments of the film offer a beautiful and whirling orchestral score. Celeste is quite the diva onstage and knows exactly how to get the crowd cheering. Vox Lux may not get that very same treatment, but it is without a doubt an uncompromised piece of filmmaking that flawlessly blends epic pop numbers with an exquisite story of darkness and glam.

(Also I got to meet Natalie Portman and my soul nearly left my body)

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