Alas. Leos Carax’s strange romantic musical, Annette, has finally hit Amazon Prime after making quite an impression at the Cannes Film Festival.
The operatic rock musical follows an unconventional stand up comedian, Henry (Adam Driver), who falls in love with an internationally renowned opera singer (Marion Cotillard). All is well with this seemingly perfect couple until the arrival of their first child, Annette, who will change everything.
Or…you may know Annette more as the musical in which Adam Driver sings while making love — or even as that weird musical from Cannes with an eerie wooden puppet.
No matter what you know or have heard about Annette, there is a lot of hype going into viewing it. And man oh man, there’s a LOT to unpack.
Without a doubt, Annette is one of the most divisive and imaginative musicals in recent time. It is a fantasia of love, hate, anger, jealousy, ego and despair.
It is also the perfect campy sort of movie to have a cult following, because this film’s got literally everything: ghosts, fourth wall breaking, the guy from The Big Bang Theory, a weird version of the Super Bowl, and WHAT’S THAT?
Oh it is a genuinely terrifying singing marionette playing the titular role, Annette. Ah yes, folks. Renesemee walked so Annette could run.
I could not help but be captivated by its surrealism, its extremeness, and unpredictable nature — a similar notion felt during Salvador’s Dali’s An Andalusian Dog. It’s full of actual “WTF” moments and you simply cannot look away.
And Adam Driver is the glue that keeps this whole wild experience together.
I admire his fearlessness to put his heart and soul into each of his roles. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but his performance in Annette is career-best. His character, Henry, is filled with rage and will do whatever it takes to feed his fragile male ego.
Driver’s delivery, whether it’s singing or performing his character’s anti-comedy routines, just explodes off the screen. He is terrifying as he continues down a destructive and unforgivable path.
To put it simply, I absolutely did not love Annette but I also didn’t hate it. Annette is certainly an ambitious and choppy work of art in its own right.
Final Thoughts: It isn’t an utter train wreck. It surely isn’t a masterpiece. Annette is what it is. A wacky, visceral, and chaotic musical that embraces its weirdness.