A baffling cacophony of musical confusion, Annette is a bold and evocative, yet jumbled and unbalanced acid trip of a film that… I think I liked?
The lives of a comedian (Adam Driver) and an opera singer (Marion Cotillard) are turned upside down after the birth of the child in this rock opera from the unique minds of the Sparks brothers. “Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in” is both a repetitious verse in one of Annette’s very odd songs and something I told myself while watching this film. Each scene, each song, each oddity is layered in the DNA of Sparks, for better or for worse; this certainly is not a film that will appeal to the masses. Driver and Cotillard give undeniably strange, yet committed performances, clearing subscribing to the wild vision of director Leos Carax and Sparks.
Annette has a lot going on. Driver’s character is completely unlikeable, yet captivating. The backdrops are often fake, yet artfully appropriate. The creepy puppet child is odd and unnecessary, yet completely fitting. It’s a film that is so bonkers that it shouldn’t work, but it shockingly does. It is layered with messages and meaning that are not immediately identifiable, but impressively incorporated into every move. I continue to think about it all.
Ultimately, Annette is a tragic tale of fame and love told through poetic song that will be divisive, but a wild ride for even naysayers and Sparks fans alike. No review can convey what a multi-dimensional eccentric film Annette is. You’ll have to catch it when it premieres Friday, August 20th, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video for the full experience.
Photo from Artforum