Annette ★★

I make no bones about the fact that I've been a huge fan of the Mael Brothers for pretty much their entire 50-year career, but as talented as these two rock miscreants are, I think tackling a dramatic opera may have been biting off more than they could chew.

The libretto seems initially promising; a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) who jokes about killing himself along with his audience and an opera singer (Marion Cotillard) who dies every night onstage, get married and have a baby....mario(an)nette...yes, that's right, they have a wooden bun in the oven (try to refrain from making splinter jokes during the birth scene please). As the story unfolds, the comedian becomes increasingly unstable and violent, ultimately destroying everything he loves.

Unfortunately, the devil in the details winds up strangling this potentially fascinating setup in the cradle, and the distinctly un-Sparks-like musical compositions, with the exception of the funny and upbeat opening number "So May We Start," just drag it down below the waves. It doesn't help that Adam Driver can't sing and the segments featuring his unfunny standup schtick seem to go on forever, plus the entire concept behind the puppet baby is never adequately explained and ultimately goes nowhere. Is she a figment of Driver's delusional impulses, does she represent the exploitation of show business and celebrities? We're pretty much left to come to our own conclusions and none of them were very satisfying, so in the end, I wound up not caring.

I just hope the Mael Bros decide to make a rock opera out of "Kimono My House" for their next big project...

Block or Report

mrbalihai liked these reviews