Annette ★★★★

"We love each other so much. We love each other so much. So hard to explain it, so hard to explain. We love each other so much." - Henry McHenry and Ann Desfranoux singing "We Love Each Other So Much"

See where it ranks among my top films of 2021!

Oh boy, how does one talk about Annette? The best way to describe it is that it is a bold new musical that's entrancingly bizarre.

Well, for starters, this was absolutely BONKERS. At first, it's oddly hilarious with a comedic monologue given by Leos Carax and reminiscent of the intro to Jesus Christ Superstar (1971) where see everything from Sparks to the whole cast singing together out of character in and out of a recording studio and getting into their places for the film to start. But as soon as that, is over. It builds upon the insanity and begins to pack so much in. One moment it's talking about cancel culture and the next, it's critiquing celebrity idolization and then whiplashes to talk about something deeply tragic. Aside from the amount of themes it packs in there, it never stops being weird, but not for the sake of being weird. It's all very creative in the way it changes things up on you. Sparks are usually very careful about what they write and I feel like this was no exception.

The songs ranged from good to fantastic with the scoring being arguably the best of the year. It's bombastic, emotional, and even ethereal. The cinematography was also one of the best of the year and you could argue for the production design as well being one of the best as well.

Marion Cotillard (Ann Desfranoux) doesn't get a whole much to do character-wise, but man, does she make up for it with her unbelievable voice. Both Simon Helberg (The Accompanist) and Adam Driver (Henry McHenry) deliver career-best performances as the former gets an incredible monologue that's meshed with an unbelievable score to make his performance one of the best supporting performances of the year along with the latter being fantastically committed to this weird story. He does not falter at all.

However, the film was longer than it needed and you feel the length. It doesn't help that I had to really go to the restroom maybe halfway through. I mentioned this before, but it packs so much in that it's hard to follow sometimes. I feel like if you leave for a minute or two, you would be so lost. It just doesn't stop. For others though, I think this is what the general public thinks arthouse cinema is: really f**king weird for hardly any reason and it can come off as pretentious. Another thing, the songs are very Sparks. So the humor may not work and the lyrics aren't varied. They can feel redundant/repetitive.

But one thing I will say is that once some things started to come together for me and I think it helps to be familiar with Sparks work, the film can be tragic. There is a longing to be loved and wanting to love others, but failing to do so that is disheartening.

Whatever you think of this, I understand. It defies all ratings.


🔙The Green Knight
🔜Red Cliff

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