Mojo Hill’s review published on Letterboxd:
What on Earth was that? Genuinely one of the most bizarre movies I’ve ever seen. I’m just laughing thinking about it. Multiple people in my tiny theater walked out; one person fell asleep. I could hear some old man grumbling about it.
I saw someone say that this was like if David Lynch directed La La Land, and I agree. It’s very abstract and lyrical. I love La La Land, but it’s certainly a much, much more conventional piece of filmmaking and doesn’t challenge the viewer as much as Annette does.
The actors really committed to this bizarre experiment of a movie musical. There’s hardly any normal talking in the entire thing, and not much coherent plot either. The songs and lyrics and words represent themes more than plot I think, and there’s even some social commentary thrown in. However, the cohesive movie does still tell a story, and takes you on quite a wild ride. Not everything makes sense but it isn’t really trying to. It’s about love, loss, regret, and pain.
Jesus, Adam Driver; he really went all out in this thing. That guy’s range is insane; from Star Wars, to Marriage Story, to this...he’s a good singer too, in this and Inside Llewyn Davis. Marion Cotillard was also great, and with each passing day I’m becoming more excited to see Brady Corbet’s The Brutalist, which she’s in. That guy from The Big Bang Theory was good too; such a random casting addition.
The animatronic doll used for the baby only furthered the bizarreness of this movie. Although that little actress at the end did a great job; it made sense to read that she’s been in Broadway musicals.
Only slight downside was I still had to deal with some annoying people in the theater; seriously, how hard is it to just sit and watch a movie? I can’t help but laugh, though, that the two most obnoxious people are the ones who left like halfway through.
I definitely recommend this if you’re into challenging and unique cinema. But I know there’s a lot of people who automatically associate “different” with “bad,” so those people are going to hate it. I keep going back and forth between a high 8 and a low 9 for this one, but I just have to appreciate what this movie is doing. Plus there were some stunning scenes that almost made me say “Whoa” out loud.