This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Marian64’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"Now, you've got nothing to love"
I totally get those who didn't get into it. But yeah, this was my jam. Love that for me :)
Really like how classic themes of fame, the love-hate relationship and constant need of validation from the audience, celebrity culture, jealousy, the fragility of the male ego and also here specifically child exploitation, are conveyed through the absolute-literal-almost-parodical lyrics, a constant reminder of the staging/artifice on display. (I only knew one song from the Sparks Brothers prior to this and I personally really liked most of the songs.)
You guys know how much I love my fairytale motifs/aesthetics= Ann's stage/forest= total serve.
This, along with the production design and cinematography manages to make the film look and sound unique when the story isn't, and I get how this can be alienating: it's again, a constant reminder that it's all fake and in that context there can't be much emotion. And that's a flaw indeed: Henry and Ann don't have enough characterization besides a superficial "he was a punk, she did ballet" aesthetic/persona and while that works for the celebrity culture criticism aspect, it also keeps us at distance.
Except that you've got Adam Driver. Need I say more? Even those who dislike the film can't deny the commitment of his performance. Marion Cotillard is sublime, even moreso when she stops fake dying and actually dies to become a revenge mermaid demon like figure.
Still, one can wonder why is it always mostly women who have to die for a story to be considered meaningful/bold/beautiful? As it is the case with most famous Operas, such as Carmen, La Traviata or Madame Butterfly?
All this contributes in making Annette a modern tragic opera of its own, one that is self aware yet doesn't take the audience by the hand. And then there's the titular Annette. The metaphor is obvious but it works: And yep, weird me just loves this puppet and her emotional little wooden face. (when she smashes the lamp! yeah, go off Queen!!, and of course, the Finale).
Last but not least TBBT's Simon Helberg is the film's secret weapon who manages to be quietly touching as "the always in the dark...until!" Conductor.