Annette ★★½

You can’t tease me with Angèle and not follow through!

Annette opens with its best song as the prologue jauntily leads you into the lyrical world you’re about to experience. It’s loud, it’s rhythmic, it’s funny. I was all in. Carax loses me when we veer into opera territory. Scenes become singular drawn-out sentences. For me, all the best moments are when we’re in a musical and the worst is when characters are repeating “we love each other so much” for ten minutes. There’s also not a lot of meat on Annette’s bones. Unlike the thematic diversity I’ve seen in Mauvais Sang and Holy Motors, this is a pretty base love story about a bad man. My interest was piqued when it alludes to Me Too and how a wife deals with such allegations towards her husband but that is quickly forgotten. The avant-garde dreamlike storytelling that Carax brings with puppeteering and old Hollywood backdrops dazzles me but can’t take me to the finish line. It doesn’t help that stand-up comedy translates very awkwardly in movies and I would’ve preferred to see more of these characters' home lives than Adam Driver not telling jokes. Maybe it just needed more dancing and Denis Lavant.

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