Whatever one thinks of Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux, at least in the way we tend to think of movies — one big piece broken down into smaller parts (sometimes not that much smaller, not when a movie operates as big as this, but there I go already…) trading places of importance at a moment’s notice — its musical component has marked, well, a point of contention. I have witnessed a debate quite like this year’s other, somewhat-less-rooted-in-terrorism pop-star-being-born story, left to wonder whether the diegetic cues are simply good, are meant to be bad as some sort of commentary on the vapidity of its genre, or are just… you get the idea. Or don’t! I think I know exactly what Corbet is saying with Vox Lux but can’t be certain he has a grip on it, which is part of why the thing isn’t boring for one second.
So while I would suggest seeing the film for oneself, I will say that its soundtrack is one of the bigger pieces — making its availability as of today no small thing. Its first half consists of Sia-penned music performed by Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy’s Celeste at older and younger stages, respectively, one song tying them together. Make up your own mind as to how effective a recreation and display they prove. Less contentious is its second side, which finds the legendary Scott Walker reuniting with Corbet from The Childhood of a Leader. Part of me wishes this proved as bombastic and soul-stirring an effort, but the colors with which he paints here surprised even me, fan of a fifty-year-career who’s seen the film it serves: almost always menacing, sometimes to the point of musical despair, but prone to moments of heavenly visions unlike anything in his discography.
Stream it below: