Annette ★★★★

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

This review may contain spoilers.

The film has a baffling first hour that doesn't give you much to hold onto, particularly with its in medias res romance that offers nothing in the way of emotional stakes, but once it makes its turn halfway in it's a great watch. The ship sequence, in particular, does a fantastic job of shifting the tone and is a beautiful use of back projection as well. And the surreal use of the Annette puppet is pure Carax lunacy so naturally I loved it.

To be honest, the early flaws of the set up make this a bit of a soft four but I'm going on the assumption that it would play better on a second watch, after knowing where the film is heading. And it's always better for a film to start weak and end strong than vice versa. Still, I feel like if the whole thing was just distilled to Cotillard's opera ghost driving Driver insane with guilt it would have been an instant classic.

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