The first ten minutes of this film are grisly and traumatic. What follows for the nearly one hour and forty-five minutes is a view of processing trauma and reaching stardom as Celeste, the sole survivor of a high school shooting, is brought to sudden fame as a pop singer. This film reminds me if “Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “A Star is Born” had a child.
Natalie Portman gives a performance that compliments the nerves and fame of Celeste, her character. The audience sees Celeste mostly as a teenager, played by Raffey Cassidy with captivating power. There are a lot of quiet moments. In Raffey’s eyes as Celeste, she delivers the evolution of a character. Jude Law is great as Celeste’s manager with a fairly good New York accent. Stacy Martin plays Eleanor, Celeste’s sister. Eleanor is a foil to Celeste and truly moves the drama with her performance. Jennifer Ehle digs into her fast-paced, no holds barred role as Josie, Celeste’s publicist. The casting choices are interesting.
Writer & Director Brady Corbet delivers a fascinating film that is a bit too long. The school shooting happened in 1999, which was when the shooting at Columbine High School occurred. The audience also sees Celeste’s reaction to 9/11 in 2001. There is a reason why these events were in the film amidst Celeste becoming a superstar and overcoming her trauma. Even if the film is Celeste becoming a popstar, watching her go through the ills of fame would be worth watching. Telling the story about grief amidst the glittering beast of entertainment makes the story timely for society. Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Sia, who writes the songs, are executive producers. The ending has some full circle.
This film is streaming on Hulu.