matt qt’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have been highly anticipating Annette ever since I heard that it was going to be opening the Cannes Film Festival, and it was 100% worth the wait. This was also my FIRST EVER movie musical and I’m happy to say that the music completely clicked with me. I’ve never head of Sparks or their music before this, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Cotillard and Driver give great performances, both musically and acting-wise. Driver’s performance is completely insane, ranging from violent outbursts to depressive ramblings, and with a borderline psychopathic personality, he is a tough character to figure out. I think people really did overstate just how “crazy” this movie really is, as what I saw was actually pretty mellow compared to what people made it out to be. But don’t get me wrong, Annette portrays its subject matter in the oddest way possible, with musical sex scenes, the decision for baby Annette to clearly be a puppet for no apparent reason, amongst many other things. Annette’s first 45 minutes is a very compelling opening, then it settles into its rhythm for the remainder of the film, but somehow the 140 minutes runtime doesn’t drag and actually fits really well with this film. Also, the unexpected poignance of this ending really had an impact on me after witnessing the previous two hours of over the top, musical fantasy. Annette is my pick for the best film of the year so far. It at times feels like a trivial comedy, and in others an involving drama. If you have it, this is well worth a watch on Prime Video.