BrayMitch01’s review published on Letterboxd:
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Annette is a very interesting movie. Ever since I first heard of this film back at the beginning of the year I became pretty excited for this seemingly interesting musical that would star two fantastic actors. When it’s director, Leo’s Carax, scored at the Cannes Film Festival and the mixed reviews started flooding in my interest for the film’s release reached an all time high. Almost every review I’ve read for the film, positive or negative, mentioned how undeniably weird and different it is so as I would expect anyone who had been awaiting the film’s release would I was very much looking forward to seeing what all these critics were talking about. By the time this film ended I honestly didn’t know what to think, it’s one of those films that makes you question your opinions on it at almost every turn. One thing is for sure this film is extremely unique and genuinely absurd. The film stands for and embodies everything about a truly artistic arthouse film is while also standing on it’s own ground away quite distant from every other type of film even close to being similar to it.
The plot is good it’s an interesting and meaningful story. The story is about an infamously conflicting comedian and a beautiful opera singer falling in love and having a child that deeply changes their lives. It’s a story full of metaphors that are excellently executed through all these strong songs. There is a couple of unpredictable twists that keep the viewer engaged with what the outcome of certain actions will be as the film goes on. If Kubrick had made an operatic stage production this would be what imagine it could have been like. There is a handful of big flaws with the story the biggest ones being that there is multiple aspects that seriously should have been fleshed out and there’s quite a lot of plot points that didn’t need to be focused on nearly as much as they were focused on. The story can take itself way too seriously at times too. The pacing is decent the seconds frequently drags but for the most part it’s well paced and entertaining.
The acting is great Adam Driver gives a great performance. He’s one of best actors currently working and luckily for his fans he’s an actor that tries out a variety of different roles. While this wasn’t one of his best he gave such a rich performance in which he nailed the complexity of his character. Luckily we’ve got two more Driver performances to come this year and based on the trailers it looks like he’s gonna nail them as well. Marion Cotillard gives a great performance although I wish the film would have given more time to focus on her character as much as it did with Driver’s. Simon Herberg gives a good supporting performance as well.
The direction is great from Leos Carax, his directorial choices all excellently corresponded with the Sparks vision and were almost all consisting of a sense of originality. The script is decent it can feel a tired at times but for the most part it was well written enough to past the test. The cinematography is fantastic this film is full of impressively executed and fresh shots that capture the films strange spirit incredibly well. The music is good surprisingly only one or two of the songs are memorable but almost all of them are at least well done. In terms of the Oscars this film was most definitely get passed on but if it were to get a nod in any category it would possibly be Best Original Song. The ending is a sad ending that should have made me more emotional but without those further fleshed out moments I mentioned earlier the emotional punches didn’t land as hard. Overall Annette is a dramatic musical that’s hard to critique and simultaneously difficult to praise, I seriously doubt any film yet to come out this year will take it’s place as the most unique film of the year.