Annette ★★★★

Sparks overlay the romantic movie musical drama with their deadpan humour and the absurdly beautiful artifice and heightened emotionality of the stage opera – and then Carax comes in and adds his own very 21st-century sense of surrealism and defamiliarisation to the mix. The result is confounding and occasionally – and probably deliberately – grating (and a little too long), but I can't deny the overall effect it had on me. Wryly funny, yet undergirded by abyssal sadness, with some truly mesmerising scenes and sequences to boot (the opening, the waltz, "I'm the conductor," the ending). It's a pretty elating feeling to see a movie that does its own thing so confidently, and evidently without fear of it not clicking for people.

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