Nine years after Holy Motors, Leos Carax is back, still with the surrealism of the “tortured self-destructive artist who wears green outfit”, in an experimental musical. Of course this is not La La Land (although the sequence of waltzes in the storm is like a dark version of Sebastian and Mia’s dance at the planetarium) nor A Star is Born (although both talk about men’s envy at their partner’s success).
But doesn’t the musical touch upon surrealism to some extent? People suddenly sing together, dance above the clouds as an expression of romance, all of that is not the face of reality. Through Annette, Carax seems to borrow the freedom of speech of her genre, to facilitate her own unique style, to bring the story and music by Ron Mael and Russell Mael from the rock duo Sparks (the three of them co-wrote the script). Top Movie Site
“So may we start?”, read the lyrics of the opening song, which was then answered by the patrol police briefly, “Don’t try to start”. Is this a jab at the “favor” of the apparatus in repressing artists’ statements? I don’t know, but it’s true, our protagonist is an artist. If Henry (Adam Driver) is a comedian, then his fiancé, Ann (Marion Cotillard), is a famous soprano. Their relationship shocked the public. Even the media labeled “Beauty and the bastard couple”.
Appearing wearing a bathrobe on stage, Henry provoked the audience’s laughter through his temperament and material filled with anger and sadness. While Ann is revered for the tragic role that requires her to always die at the end of the show. Maybe this is where Henry begins to feel, why is his suffering seen as a joke, but Ann’s “death” actually makes him loved?
Even after the birth of their daughter, Annette (played by a creepy doll, because apart from aesthetic choices, the baby will have to go through many extreme things), Henry’s anxiety only grows. When Ann’s popularity consistently rose, Henry’s career actually took a nosedive due to his tendency to go crazy on stage. Best Movie
I’m not going to divulge what happened next, except that the further you enter this 140-minute maze, the peculiarity of Leos Carax also gets thicker. Is the duration too long? Maybe, and compared to the director’s previous work, Annette’s focus tends to be less awake. When at Holy Motors Carax explores an idea, this time there are several.
Ambitious, and of course, pretentious. Issues such as “life imitates art”, male insecurity, to the process of children liberating themselves from their parents to become complete individuals, can be presented using a more accessible style. But the choice of style is also a manifestation of the director’s aesthetic independence. And if you’re like me who admire the absurdity of Holy Motors, Annette has a charm that is hard to resist.
Actually, even from a conventional point of view, this film is quite a capable musical. Catchy rock opera songs, to imaginative musical sequences (the “ship in a storm” scene which is the material for the poster results in a massive and dramatic tragedy), all can be found. In the lineup, Driver and Cotillard are more than just ideas (a frequent occurrence in many surreal shows). Especially Driver, who handles almost any situation (and emotion) at 200% intensity. Movie Review