Celeste is a 13-year-old musical prodigy who survives a horrible school shooting in Staten Island, New York, in 1999. Her talent shines during the funeral when she sings a song that touches the hearts of the mourners. Guided by her sister and a talent manager, the young phenomenon transforms inato a rising pop star with a promising future. Eighteen years later, Celeste is now on her way back when a scandal, personal struggles and the pitfalls of fame threaten her career.
Initial release: December 7, 2018 (USA)
Director: Brady Corbet
Distributed by: Neon
Script: Brady Corbet
Nominations: Golden Lion, Volpi Cup for the best actress,
Thirty years ago, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Brady Corbet made his name as an actor. He was in the fifth season of “24” (2006), as son of the girlfriend of Jack Bauer, and in the twisted reboot of Michael Funny “American Games” (2008) by Michael Haneke. Make that combination what you want. Lately, Corbet has changed to the address. His debut, “The childhood of a leader” (2015), set in the funerary wake of World War I, is about a boy who looks like Christopher Robin but whose behavior would drive him out of Hundred Acre Wood. In a brief epilogue, we see him as an adult, dressed in the ornaments of fascism and adored by the crowd. Some people considered the movie absurd and annoying, but I was too scared to bother. It was not “The Omen”, but it was sinister enough, and I waited, not without fear, to see what Corbet would do next.
The answer is “Vox Lux”, which seems to represent a change of course. The stage is modern America, with a brief trip to Stockholm, and the theme (the auditory theme, at least) is pop music. There is even a joke about abba. We begin with a narrator (Willem Dafoe), who introduces us to a girl named Celeste (Raffey Cassidy). “At first, she was kind and full of grace,” she says, as if telling a fairy tale. Cut to 1999, when Celeste, a schoolgirl in Staten Island, “thirteen years fourteen”, is caught in a violent calamity. The less you know beforehand, the better, but Celeste is lucky to survive. On the other hand, his response (an acute lament, which he writes with his sister Ellie (Stacy Martin) and sings live on national television) gives him a blink of celebrity, which, far from being shattered, turns into a fire.