Movies on the rise (and usually fall) of pop stars, both “based-on” and fictitious, are not rare, but few offer this level of insight. 

A young singer’s (well played by Raffey Cassidy) career is born of tragedy when she is discovered (by manager Jude Law) while singing at a ceremony honoring her slain classmates after a school shooting. We follow the talented teen and her songwriting sister (Stacy Martin) through her first taste of stardom and exposure to the forces that could destroy her. 

Fast-forward seventeen years; she has inevitably morphed from shy, devout ingénue to a foul-mouthed and surviving pop superstar. Now played by Natalie Portman, she is apparently attempting a comeback after a scandal and dealing with the realities of that once-sought stardom. And a teenage daughter.

Brady Corbet’s movie is not A Star Is Born, but a searing, coldly analytical character study on the effects of monolithic fame. Stays with you.

(114 min)