Brady Corbet's follow-up to his 2015 breakout debut THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER is the deliciously dark flipside to A STAR IS BORN — a gloriously matter-of-fact examination of the cult of celebrity and the media machine in all its guts, grit and glory. In 1999, teenage Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a violent tragedy. After singing at a memorial service, Celeste transforms into a burgeoning pop star with the help of her songwriter sister (Stacy Martin) and a talent manager (Jude Law). Celeste's meteoric rise to fame and concurrent loss of innocence dovetails with a shattering terrorist attack on the nation, elevating the young powerhouse to a new kind of celebrity: American icon, secular deity, global superstar. By 2017, adult Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mounting a comeback after a scandalous incident that derailed her career. Touring in support of her sixth album, the indomitable, foul-mouthed pop savior must overcome her personal and familial struggles to navigate motherhood, madness and monolithic fame in the Age of Terror. (Note adapted from Neon.) DIR/SCR Brady Corbet; PROD D.J. Gugenheim, David Hinojosa, Andrew Lauren, David Litvak, Michel Litvak, Svetlana Metkina, Robert Salerno, Christine Vachon, Gary Michael Walters, Brian Young. U.S., 2018, color, 114 min. RATED R
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