This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Ruff’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I watched the Sparks documentary before this and can't say I feel their vibe even though I intellectually like their style and respect their hustle. I was hoping to get a little insight into the band before I checked this movie out so I wouldn't feel so out of whack while watching. I have to say I don't think any amount of preparation could have prepared me for this movie. It is bonkers. Adam Driver has a marionette baby with Marion Cotillard who then takes on her mother's singing voice and begins performing shows while being managed by hack comedian Driver. It's weird.
Driver is great, especially in those stand up scenes. He is captivating to watch even as he is completely bombing on purpose and I want to cringe all the way down into the folds of my couch. There is a lot less Cotillard in this than I expected. Even before her death she was backseated to Driver's character. One of my problems with the film is I wasn't invested in their love story at all and didn't much care what happened to either of them. Simon Helberg has done well for himself post Big Bang Theory and from what I've read he put in a ton of work for this part and it really paid off. His character was my favorite part of the film.
The cinematography is really great and the movie looks beautiful. This is definitely a movie musical and not a stage play turned movie. I'm not familiar with Leos Carax's work but after seeing this I'm interested to see more. From some reviews here this seems to be one of his lesser outings so I look forward to seeing one of his more acclaimed films.
This is perfectly fine, if you're a Sparks fan this might even jump up to good or even great. As I'm not I didn't find the weird stuff charming enough to forgive the weakness in the story or the lack of emotional investment I got from the film.