Annette ★★★★½

Exceptional. Does lose a smidge of steam once a crucial story beat happens in the second half before fortunately coming back full circle in the third act, but I have mad respect for a film that swings for the fences this hard, even more so when it very much succeeds. Leos Carax does such a magnificent job juggling various tones without ever once creating whiplash in addition to him, along with DoP Caroline Champetier, creating some striking imagery. Many people will inevitably complain about its satire on Hollywood fame, showbiz, and tabloid media being unsubtle, but I feel that’s more of a feature than a bug in this case, especially because it’s just really fucking funny. Plus, Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard (probably her best performance since TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT), and Simon Helberg are all wonderful in this, and it’s so nice to see a musical made by a director who actually knows how to shoot and stage musicals. Almost guaranteed to be the weirdest film of 2021, and I say that with utmost praise. Been meaning to seek out Carax’s work for a long time now, and will most definitely be doing so sometime in the near future after seeing what he did with this.

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