Ethan Johnson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver cannot have bad performances. If it weren’t for them, Annette (2021) would not have been what it is.
This film was difficult for me. It took me almost an hour to get used to the artistic style of what Leos Carax, and once I did I definitely felt more comfortable(?) watching it, but I don’t think it was entirely meant for me - which is okay. I loved what Carax was going for, the operatic sequencing and staging, as well as the meandering flow of time, but I didn’t necessarily enjoy sitting through it. If you can’t tell, I have very mixed emotions. I loved Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard in this film. Their performances were powerful, beautiful, and artful, but I don’t think the writing was equal in caliber. I felt like a lot of the character depth and movement lacked what Driver and Cotillard were trying to portray. It felt as if one character acted one way and then in the very next scene they had done a 180 degree turn which threw off the tonality of the character as well as the overarching story. I also feel like the film was cut down, because there were so many of these changes between scenes. I know the film was already pretty long, but I feel like it could have benefited from 15-30 more minutes of runtime to back character growth and plot changes. I loved the music in this, and how it felt as if I was watching one of Ann’s operas. At times when characters were singing, I wouldn’t even realize they were. It didn’t feel forced, it felt natural and emotional. The lighting was also really, really gorgeous. I loved how present the color green and yellow were, especially in sequences to which their different meanings were illustrated. Overall, I enjoyed Annette (2021) and the performances and artistic craft behind it, but I don’t think it was necessarily for me.
P.S. The dude from The Big Bang Theory (2007 - 2019) can act - and sing. Who knew?
P.P.S. Someone should have told me an entire character is literally a puppet/doll. I’m terrified of dolls. That’s probably why it wasn’t for me.