Annette ★★★★½

Was expecting to leave this feeling a little exhausted (nearly 2.5 hours of Sparks music and Carax's stylistic excess was surely going to wear me down no matter how satisfied I was) but instead came out on a high, simply reeling from how much fun I had but also astonished at how effective this is on an emotional level. While the Maels' absurdist irony is almost always present (and this every bit as much a Sparks picture as a Carax one), there is real passion to every piece of the artifice - a film that feels hand-made, that shows its seams, and is all the more affecting for it by the end.

After some deliberation, I don't think it is a film with Much To Say (though maybe I'm wrong), but what it is saying is done so in the most exciting, thought-provoking ways. It is a lot, but never too much. It's the most elated I've been coming out of a new release in a long time. Perhaps not one of the great works of cinema (or maybe it is?) but certainly one of the films that consistently feels like it's utilising the medium to its fullest, most direct impact. Going to treasure this one!

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