Natalie Portman is one for three at the Oscars, but if NEON has anything to say about it, she’ll be batting .500 come Spring. After a strong showing at Venice TIFF, NEON is positioning “Vox Lux” for an aggressive awards season push, setting its limited release for December 7th (with a wider rollout in the two weeks to follow). The film will face stiff competition from other female-fronted awards contenders opening in that span, including Margot Robbie’s “Mary Queen of Scots” and Julia Roberts’ “Ben Is Back,” setting up a great awards season line-up of perennial favorites.
“Vox Lux” spans several decades, and tells the story of a young woman who survives a terrible tragedy, inadvertently gains fame as a result and then must confront a similar tragedy as an adult. Portman plays the adult version of this lead character and has a lot of tools in her acting kit for this one as a shock-rocker with a dark past and a teenage daughter in tow. Actor turned director Brady Corbet (‘The Childhood of a Leader“) also wrote the screenplay for “Vox Lux,” and early reviews have commended his “astonishingly confident filmmaking chutzpah.”
With songs performed by executive producer Sia, and supporting turns by Jude Law and Jennifer Ehle (not to mention a narrating credit for Willem Dafoe), “Vox Lux” seems to have a stacked deck heading into the all-important December release schedule. And while the film doesn’t sport any of the cachets of Portman engaging in lesbian sex or holding the shattered pieces of a president’s brain in place, there’s more than enough here to pique interest amongst the masses. Whether that interest will be enough to sustain “Vox Lux” through the onslaught of Spiderman, Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins during that same span of weeks, not to mention all of the other Oscar contenders, will be the real question, though.
Meanwhile, in related release date news, 20th Century Fox has dated “Untitled Kingsman Movie 3” to November 8, 2019, and MGM has slotted “Legally Blonde 3” for May 8, 2020.