Annette ★★★½

The most uncharitably reductive view of this film- perhaps from someone who had resisted walking out 2/3rds of the way through, only to say 'that's it?' at the end, would probably be some version of the claim that the film is basically the 'I'm sad, I'm so fucked up' scene from Uncut Gems, if Adam Sandler was Adam Driver, and instead of Julia Fox, he was being comforted by a silent wooden puppet-baby who Marion Cotillard had given birth to earlier, and instead of a New York Crime Drama, the film was a rock (pop?) opera, and.....

you get the idea. there's a sort of self-indulgent masculine navel gazing that the film doesn't invite so much as it makes central, the kind where the disdain of the feminine sector is part of the point --but at the same time, the film is so well-crafted, with Leos Carax directing the hell out of this thing, and the storyline so committed to doubling down on examining variations of performer/audience, artist/creation, unknown/star, commenting on itself and doubling back to comment on its commentary (the 4th wall breaking bookends were particularly effective for me) that it's easy not to want to be too reductive and to give it the benefit of the doubt, puzzling over that bleak ending, somewhere between prophecy and cautionary tale, and thinking about the opening instructions to the audience, on a black screen as the credits started to roll, and what it would mean if at that moment, the audience actually exhaled.

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