Vox Lux

Director: Brady Corbet
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 2.0

Meek Celeste (Raffey Cassidy as a youth, Natalie Portman as an adult) survives a mass shooting at her high school and then turns the tragedy into a musical career - years later, as a famous performer (and heavy into drugs and alcohol) she once again becomes the Poster Lady for terrorist acts (when masked gunmen murder beach-goers and other innocents). The first ten minutes are so masterfully handled by actor-turned-filmmaker Corbet I thought this would be some kind of sweeping statement about Western Culture in the Age of Terror, but then it just sort-of brings up some points and has no solid way of actually bringing them together - does Corbet actually think, with many turning away from the Catholic Church (and other forms of organized religion) that Pop Culture has become the latest Temple of Worship (Celeste calls herself "the new New Testament") as a knee-jerk reaction to Extremist culture in the Middle East? Is this a slap at the Beyoncés and Britneys and Gagas of the World? Is it slamming Victim Culture for exploiting themselves for fame? I'm not sure why Portman's Celeste sounds and acts like the some odd combination of Stockard Channing in Grease and Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, but at least Jude Law's manager character remains equally scuzzy from beginning to end.