Annette ★★★★★


Annette is my new favorite movie of the year, and I’ve been thinking about whether this should be on my all time top twenty. See, I actually watched this for the first time about twelve hours ago, starting it about half an hour after I finished Free Guy. I told the friend I watched it with that I might need to sleep on the film before actually posting a review (partly because it’s a lot to take in, and partly because by the time I finished it it was nearly four thirty in the morning), but even after waking up I still didn’t know if I had digested it enough to write a review for Annette. What do you say about movies like this? How do you apply film theory to it? You could make the argument that with movies like Annette, regular film criticism and the idea of taste in general flies out the window. This is the kind of movie that changes you, and one that is not likely to appeal to many people on the first go. Annette is the strangest film I have seen in a long time. How am I supposed to even describe the plot? I guess I’ll try this...Annette is about a stand up comedian and an opera singer who have a baby to save the marriage. In its simplest terms, before getting weird, that is the best way I can describe Annette.

But it’s not just about that, is it? Or, maybe it is, but it’s told in the most abstract way possible. I don’t even know if I want to talk about the twists and turns and the stylistic choices, because Annette really does get better the less you know about it going in. All I can possibly think to say in that department is that it’s one of the most formalistic, abstract, dark movies I’ve ever seen, really up there with Mulholland Drive. And for another, on the surface it does a lot of things wrong, and yet the final work is just shockingly great and cohesive, much like—and I’m not being hyperbolic—Citizen Kane. As I sat down and watched this one hundred and forty minute masterpiece in theaters, I got Citizen Kane vibes. As though several decades down the road, this will be regarded as one of the major classics of cinema history. It’s that good, and that groundbreaking. I have never seen a movie this good in the movie theaters before, and in general I haven’t seen a movie this good in a long ass time. Adam Driver has been a global force in the acting world for a long time, and he has plenty of movies on my favorites list, but Annette is on a whole other level. Even after having a nice, long sleep that should have allowed me to digest this film, I am still reeling in sheer awe of the creativity and raw cinematic talent presented by every single person involved. This is one of the best movies in decades. In the Heights and Raya and the Last Dragon are great and they have clear shots at my Best of 2021 list, but Annette blew so far past both of its competitors that it will take a god damn miracle for any other film this year to ever, ever catch up.

Block or Report