Natalie Portman is a firework, but “Vox Lux” is a dud.

Vox Lux follows Celeste (Raffey Cassidy/Natalie Portman) as she transforms from an injured victim of a violent tragedy to a global pop star shrouded in scandal, determined to rejuvenate her career.

Woof. Guys. Where do I begin?

Well, I guess with the good. Natalie Portman gives a phenomenal portrayal as the hysterical, foul-mouthed, narcissistic, controversial and deeply deranged Celeste. Watching her unravel as a ticking time bomb was uncomfortable to watch yet I couldn’t look away. Celeste is not a character you necessarily like, but hey, she’s a hoot to watch.

What’s unfortunate is that you have to wait a very long-winded hour to witness Portman’s performance. This long-winded hour feels like a COMPLETELY different movie from the second part of the film, which is I suppose why director and writer Brady Corbet decided to separate the film into “acts”.

The first two acts of Vox Lux feel a little like a film major’s art-house capstone project. It’s overstuffed with overdramatic cinematography and an unseen ostentatious narrator that will leave you rolling your eyes.

The second two acts are just a sloppy rollercoaster. But hey, at least there’s a fun, splashy concert complete with Natalie Portman dance moves and SIA vocals. There are so many random plot points (including TWO fictional mass shootings) thrown in and so little flow or direction that I left Vox Lux begging for an Aleve instead of an encore.

Final Thoughts: Despite a fearless and strong performance by Portman, Vox Lux is a pretentious and disjointed nightmare.

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