This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Oh, fuck, this is good. This is really, really good.

I’m not surprised to see that Carax thanked Edgar Allan Poe in the credits of this thing, as Annette falls completely in line with the latter masters’ tradition of evil figures who suffer the inescapable, often personal, consequences of the terrors they’ve unleashed upon the world. While Carax draws from plenty of cinematic traditions- it’s hard not to think of Godard’s musicals/ musical sequences watching this- Annette feels closer to The Tell Tale Heart than it does to any other film of its kind. Whereas Poe deploys the sound of a beating heart under the floorboards to symbolize a man’s decent into self-imposed madness, Carax uses a musical leitmotif sung by a big-eared, baby puppet. Cinema is wonderful, isn’t it?

From a technical standpoint, this is pretty much perfect. The filmmaking is inspired, the music is fantastic and the performances are all stellar. From the perspective of an audience member, fascinated by Carax’s continuing exploration of what the cinema can do, I was shocked by just how emotional I got this time around, especially in the face of criticism that has written this off as being icey. This HURT me. Carax (while certainly adventurous) understands the limits of grounding his lyrical choices and experimental tendencies in the realm of pure, unadulterated emotion. This is a very intentional, very carefully crafted work of creativity that I found utterly engrossing.

Movie of the decade, so far.

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