Brady Corbet, 114 min
United States, 2018
American celebrity culture meets the violence of reality in a hyperrealistic film about a pop singer on the verge of a breakdown.
As a teenager, Celeste experiences a school shooting that massacres most of her closest friends. She miraculously survives thanks to a mixture of rehabilitation, unimpressed teen spleen and all-pervasive sibling love. Her big sister (Stacy Martin) takes her under her talented wings, and together they start to write songs from Celeste's sickbed. The media immediately catches the surviving teenager's potential, and she becomes the nation's darling overnight. As a rising star on the American pop scene, she and her sister fall straight into the celebrity circus. And this is where Natalie Portman comes into the picture, decades later, as the fast ageing pop star at the top of her career, surfing on a wave of drugs, prima donna whims, insecurity and megalomania. The actor and director Brady Corbet has learned from the greatest, and the hyperrealism of his second feature after 'The Childhood of a Leader' touches on both his idols, Haneke and von Trier. Fame is a tough ride with more facets than a mirrorball, and when the pop universe clashes with the violence of the present reality we live in, the alienation is at its strongest.