Annette ★★★

I was very hyped for Annette, expecting a film I would love, and when the film began with what I would easily consider the greatest opening scene I've seen all year, I thought my expectations would be fulfilled and then some.

But right after that, the film began to slip away from me a bit. Whatever it was that I loved about the opening was missing in much of the rest of the film. Something about the way the film uses its songs, with its very literal lyrics throughout, soon irritated me. I mean: Early in the film, Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard sing (well, "sing") a duet literally called 'We Love Each Other So Much', which consists mainly of that one line being sung ("sung") over and over again, and I couldn't help but wonder if this complete lack of sublety was a tongue-in-cheek dig at the musical genre that just didn't land for me, or just a failed honest attempt to make us actually feel something about the two as a couple.

Throughout the rest, I was in two minds. There were individual elements and things that I loved (most notably Simon Helberg, and obviously everything about Baby Annette), and others that kept pushing me away (most notably the films tendency to tell me how to feel through the song lyrics, rather than to actually make me feel that). It's a mess, but at least it's an audacious one.

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