Movie Watch: Vox Lux

Continuing our desire to highlight upcoming independent and foreign films we think you should be aware of, we look at “Vox Lux,” the latest outside the mainstream role for Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman.

The first proper solo writing and directing gig for actor Brady Corbet (who you may remember from Thunderbirds or Mysterious Skin or Funny Games), “Vox Lux” (subtitled “A 20th Century Portrait”) begins in 1999, when teenage Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a violent tragedy.  After singing at a memorial service, Celeste is transformed into a burgeoning pop star with the help of her songwriter sister (Stacy Martin) and a talent manager (Jude Law). Celeste’s meteoric rise to fame dovetails with a personal and national loss of innocence, consequently elevating the young powerhouse to a new kind of celebrity: American icon, secular deity, global superstar.

By 2017, a now-adult Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mounting a comeback, after a scandalous incident almost derailed her career.  Touring in support of her sixth album, a compendium of sci-fi anthems entitled, “Vox Lux,” the indomitable, foul-mouthed pop savior must overcome her personal and familial struggles to navigate motherhood, madness and monolithic fame.

And if Natalie Portman as a foul-mouthed pop star isn’t enough for you, “Vox Lux” will also be of interest to fans of music sensation Sia, who wrote a number of the songs Ms. Portman performs throughout the film. In addition to Ms. Cassidy (who also plays the teenage daughter of the adult Celeste), Ms. Martin and Mr. Law, the film also stars Jennifer Ehle and is narrated by Willem Dafoe.

Neon will be opening the film in New York and Los Angeles on December 7, with a national roll-out to follow. Check out the trailer below, and visit the official Vox Lux website to learn more.