A conversation with Natalie Portman will follow the Friday, November 9, screening.
As a teenager in 1999, Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survived a brutal school shooting in Staten Island. To process her grief, young Celeste wrote and performed a song that unexpectedly catapulted her into the national spotlight; and so a country's trauma created a teen girl's career as a pop star. Starting with this brilliantly cynical yet believable premise, Brady Corbet's assured, razor-edged second directorial feature flies ahead to 2017, where we meet adult Celeste (Natalie Portman, unlike you've ever seen her), now a jaded pop phenom who is faced with a public relations nightmare: another mass shooting has happened, apparently inspired by her most famous music video. As VOX LUX takes us deeper into Celeste's broken life while on tour, an uneasy, hypnotic portrait emerges of a woman stuck between her past and present, who stands as a reluctant symbol of America's warped nature. – Beth Hanna