Annette ★★★★

It's definitely not to everyone's taste but Annette really worked for me although I pretty much decided to fully invest in the concept from the start. Leos Carax has a very unique style and I loved Holy Motors so it's good that this shares the originality and black comedy of that film. I knew Annette was a musical but didn't expect almost every line of dialogue to be sung although that wasn't a problem for me. For the most part the music is catchy and whilst the lyrics are very simple they do a good job of explaining the plot so that the film never feels confusing or complicated despite being quite surreal. The other thing that takes some getting used to is that the child is played by a puppet but it's actually done really well and I got over it after about 5 minutes.

There are plenty of other things I loved about the film. Adam Driver is phenomenal and if he gets loads of award nominations for House of Gucci instead of this I'm going to be quite annoyed. The editing is sharp and it does a great job of portraying Los Angeles which is one of my favourite movie cities. Therefore it definitely has a similar atmosphere to David Lynch's work. Other people have mentioned it seeming like a cross between La La Land and Mulholland Drive although Inland Empire is probably just as accurate in terms of the surreal and twisted nature of the story. There are several scenes that I absolutely loved such as the conductor, the 'comedy' performances and of course the ending. Unfortunately I'm struggling to give the film as a whole more than 4 stars because it definitely felt too long and some songs and scenes became somewhat repetitive. You also get the sense that the plot isn't that well thought out as they throw in random developments with no real context such as when the conductor suddenly says that he had an affair with Ann and Annette might actually be his daughter.

Annette is a film that definitely won't appeal to everyone. If you have any aversion at all to musicals, which I used to, don't come within 10 miles of this movie. I also can't deny that it is uneven and at least 20 minutes too long. However, so many things about it just worked for me and the story was much more emotionally moving than I expected so overall this was a really enjoyable watch

2021 Ranked

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