Vox Lux is a lavish, sequin-studded portrayal of stardom haunted by the trauma of a school shooting. Years aſter her singing at the wake of her deceased classmates catapulted Celeste (Natalie Portman) into the lime-light, her career is on the verge of a showbiz rebirth, yet her relationship with manager (Jude Law) and daughter Eleanor (Stacy Martin) shiſt from the destructive to the devastating as she hurtles along a collision course with fate.

Portman’s performance as the popstar extraordinaire will sweep the carpet out from under your feet as her kaleidoscopic life spins drug abuse, family neglect, the corruption of celebrity and trauma of her childhood together like a giddy Op art painting. Writer/director Brady Corbet’s unlikely thematic pairing of infamy and terrorism churned together in a heady brew warrants praise for the mixture of tenderness and emotional gut-punches they bring to this trippy spectacle.

Fact The director claims that "Vox Lux" means "voice of light" in Latin. The correct Latin translation would be "Vox Lucis." In Latin, a word's ending depends on its role in a particular phrase. "Vox Lux" is simply two nouns, "voice light".

Amidst the rising fad of music biopics, it would be all too easy for Vox Lux to sink into the mosh pit of mediocrity, but Lux seems to have more of the Greek tragedy’s hubris and gangster movie’s


descent into hell about it, than it has in common with your average musical success story, as it nonchalantly stuffs the genre full of plasticine explosives and sparks the fuse.

Lux is as much a cautionary tale about fame, as it is a soaring dissection of the tangled love affair between trauma and the media spotlight. The whole thing looks set to be one helluva slick flick; a two-hour music video with a noir backbone and a stinger of bitter social commentary in its tail. Think Black Swan meets Bohemian Rhapsody as shot by Nicolas Winding Refn and scored by Chvrches and you’ll be halfway there.

Words Louis Pigeon-Owen

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