Directed by Brady Corbet (which, no, is not a codename for Star Is Born director Bradley Cooper), Vox Lux is about the intersection of tragedy and fame.
In the film, Portman plays Celeste, an avant-garde pop star who rose to musical prominence as a young woman after surviving what Vanity Fair revealed is a school shooting reminiscent of the Columbine massacre. The film focuses on Celeste as a mother and seasoned musician, seeking a comeback after a nearly career-derailing scandal. Unfortunately, Celeste’s own journey back to the top is soon tainted by a different violent circumstance.
Portman’s Celeste is far different from any role that the Academy Award winner has portrayed before — she’s not exactly Jackie Kennedy, attempting to keep it together for the American people after her own collision with gun violence. Here, Portman is a rough-around-the-edges pop star who lives in glitter face makeup and leather jackets, seemingly using her larger-than-life persona as a shield from the real issues surrounding her.
If A Star Is Born borrows a bit from actress Gaga’s real-life early pop career (which Gaga herself has not revealed, though the comparisons are hard to ignore), the character at the centre of Vox Lux is pure fiction. However, according to Portman, her role was inspired by gems of truth about this particular kind of celebrity. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Portman revealed she watched a lot of pop music documentaries to prepare for her role of Celeste.
“I don’t want to reveal [which documentaries I watched], because I don’t want people to think it’s based on particular people, which it’s not. The writing was so specific and inventive that I don’t want people to say, ‘Oh, it’s a mix of this-meets-that,’ or whatever.’”
Check out the new trailer below: