Annette ★★★★½

Pop Screen goes all topical for this week's show, as we make our first foray into the cinema to deal with a movie from this year. If you haven't already seen Annette, be aware that we get into spoiler territory - but if you haven't already seen Annette, and you know that it's a Leos Carax musical with a soundtrack of forty-two original numbers by Sparks starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, what in god's name are you waiting for? It is everything you want and more - all the wild ambition you expect from Carax, all the ingenious cleverness and wit you expect from Sparks, but fused with an emotional punch that is heavyweight by the standards of either creator.

Stray observations:

- The chorus of women Ann imagines accusing Henry of abuse include the Belgian pop star Angèle, whose own relationships have been the subject of as much fevered press speculation as Ann's. Her appearance here might be a nod to her song 'Balance ton quoi', whose lyrics and video discuss experiences she and her friends have had with predatory men.

- An early nod to the film's eventual theme: one of the few non-fictional operas Ann stars in is Bela Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle.

- As per Carax's opening instruction, I didn't breathe for the whole of this film and I'm here to tell the tale.

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