Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton) is an assistant private investigator working under a man named Frank (Bruce Willis). Frank is his mentor, his father figure. Lionel was an orphan when he was taken under Frank’s wing. When Frank is murdered, it is only natural that Lionel will do whatever is necessary to uncover the reason behind his death. What he does not expect, though, is how entrenched this mystery is within a conspiracy of political power.
It may be cliched to refer to beautiful-looking films with the phrase “every frame is a painting,” but in the case of Robert Eggers’ latest, The Lighthouse, many of the shots are picturesque. The introduction of our two characters, lighthouse keepers Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe), looks like a stoic portrait. The reverse shot that follows, depicting the lighthouse on the black ocean, looks like a Gothic landscape piece.
The Best Actor race is a tight one this year. You have fan favorites like A Star is Born. Crowd-pleasers like Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book. Transformative performances in Christian Bale and Rami Malek. And Willem Dafoe is in there, too. Because why not?
Vox Lux appears to be a scathing commentary on the cynical pop music industry (and the cynical nature of fame in contemporary culture) while simultaneously being a sympathetic endorsement of the pop star as a burdening position of symbolic courage and confidence. These two narrative aims clash throughout Brady Corbet’s film, causing both tension and befuddlement.
The Oscars Best Supporting Actor category is one that has yet to be narrowed down. There are a couple of sure-things. There is also plenty of upset potential. The well of actors in the category runs deep. Let’s try to figure it out!