Stephen Morgan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ambitious but flawed musical drama.
The opening scene is incredible, and I wish there was a bit more of that, as Leos Carax excels at the single tracking shot with a performance in motion. It is brilliant and at that point I was fully on board with this and excited to see where it went.
This movie certainly has its moments, but in the end I felt it didn’t really add up to too much. I suppose it was saying something about toxic masculinity, but nothing above what many recent films have contained.
One thing that I felt disappointed by was the stand up. We are supposed to believe Henry McHenry is a comedy maverick, and I realise that this is a somewhat surreal musical so you shouldn’t take it all too literally, but the routines weren’t funny at all.
I would have loved to see how Adam Driver fared delivering some truly funny material, instead of the angsty faux-edgy nonsense we get.
There is good use of Driver’s physicality and size, particularly in one scene where he threatens someone usung his body to obstruct them.
I liked the baby design quite a bit, and Annette herself is probably the strongest part of this. The scenes when she sings are all amazing.
There are a few tunes that stand out, and on the whole Sparks have done a solid job with the songs, although I didn’t feel as of any of them are truly great.
Annette is interesting enough, but given the buzz about it and it’s presence on some early End of Year lists I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed.