Venice 2018

Pop Stars, Painters, and Pastorals

Natalie Portman in Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux (2018)

The excitement that greeted such films as Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite during the opening days of the seventy-fifth Venice Film Festival has petered out a little as the festival rolls out its mid-week offerings. Some of the films in this batch have split the critics, suggesting that they may give us as much to talk about this season as the ones met with immediate universal acclaim.

Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux was evidently booed at its first screenings, but on the whole, the reviews so far have been strong. “Having established himself in films by Michael Haneke, Ruben Östlund, Olivier Assayas, et al. as the go-to American guy for European art cinema,” writes Jonathan Romney for Screen, “Corbet launched himself as a cineaste in his own right with 2015’s bold but somewhat solemn Jean-Paul Sartre adaptation The Childhood of a Leader. That film had admirers but left many skeptical—yet its follow-up leaves no doubt about Corbet’s audacity, imagination and intelligence.”

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