EXCLUSIVE: After acquiring the Natalie Portman-Jude Law music drama Vox Lux out of TIFF, NEON is giving the Brady Corbet-directed movie an awards season push with a limited release on Dec. 7.

This will be followed by an expansion on Dec. 14 and another wide break on Dec. 21, playing into Christmas and New Year’s. The platform is a similar plan that NEON/30WEST took with their TIFF acquisition last year I, Tonya which earned three Oscar nominations best actress Margot Robbie, film editing, and best supporting actress Allison Janney, the latter winning, and a domestic box office haul of $30M.

Corbet, Portman and Law at TIFF
Evan Agostini/Shutterstock

Portman has been getting buzz in her supporting actress role out of TIFF as she plays a tortured pop music idol who built her success on a tragic past. Portman won a best actress Oscar for Black Swan in 2011 and in total counts three noms including 2017’s Jackie (best actress) and 2005’s Closer (best supporting). Law has been nominated twice before at the Oscars for Cold Mountain in 2004 (best actor) and The Talented Mr. Ripley in 2000 (best supporting). Raffey Cassidy does double time in the film as the younger version of Portman’s character as well as her daughter while Stacy Martin plays the sister to Portman’s Celeste. Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Ehle also star.

Corbet wrote Vox Lux which begins in 1999 when teenage sisters Celeste and Eleanor survive a seismic, violent tragedy. The sisters compose and perform a song about their experience, making something lovely and cathartic out of catastrophe — while also catapulting Celeste to stardom. By 2017, the now 31-year-old Celeste is mother to a teenage daughter of her own and struggling to navigate a career fraught with scandals when another act of terrifying violence demands her attention.
Pic  is dedicated to Jonathan Demme, who made his mark with concert films from The Talking Heads and Neil Young. Law and Portman are EPs on Vox Lux and it marks their fourth collaboration together after Cold Mountain, Closer, and My Blueberry Nights. NEON beat A24 for the U.S. rights to the pic out of TIFF.
Among limited releases on Dec. 7, which is a hot launch for independent fare –it’s where Black Swan opened– there’s Focus Features’ Mary Queen of Scots and Roadside Attractions’ Ben Is Back.