Annette ★★★

I can't proclaim to have enjoyed Annette as much as I desired. The music from Sparks (and LC) and Carax's direction stand well together, haunting imagery that in hindsight matches the tonal undercurrents that overwhelm halfway through. Driver and Cotillard do a magnificent job, especially the former in his stand-up long takes. But, there's a vague emptiness to the melodramatic tensions that never matched the film's energy, pathetic kineticism diminished by a banality that doesn't meld with the surrealism of things like Annette's puppet or the swirling boat sequence. Little sticking power is contained, and the result is a disinterest by about 90 minutes in as things go totally awry. "Stepping Back in Time" (the best song), the final scene, and most of the first half are memorable and worthwhile, yet I can't help but call Annette a failure as the sum of its individual parts.

There's no more time
So sad to see
That we both can't be
Who we ought to be

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