Leos Carax‘s Annette, which premiered almost three weeks ago (7.6) at the Cannes Film Festival, will be given a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on 8.6.21, followed by a digital streaming debut on Amazon Prime Video on 8.20.21.
I watched Annette last night. It’s an arthouse doozy that leaves you stunned and astonished, lemme tell ya. There’s plenty of time to write a proper review, but I tapped out a short riff this morning and shared it with two or three friends.
“Only the most perverse, anti-populist critics will even flirt with being kind to, much less praising, Annette when it opens stateside,” I wrote. “Once you get past the strikingly surreal visual style and the fact that it was, like, made at all, there is only the self-loathing rage of Adam Driver’s Henry McHenry character, a stand-up comedian, and Carax’s seething disdain for easily led-along audiences.
“Annette is ‘brave’ and wildly out there, but this is arguably the most morally repellent musical ever made in motion picture history. Driver’s Henry, an envelope-pushing comedian who performs one-man shows that aren’t in the least bit amusing, is astounding — one of the most flagrantly revolting protagonists I’ve ever spent time with in my moviegoing life.
“Remember the rickety, old fashioned idea of a lead character having some sort of relatable qualities that an audience might bond with? Even Al Pacino‘s Michael Corleone had relatables in The Godfather, Part II, and he was an ice man. Driver is playing a kind of sociopathic Jack the Ripper figure. The movie is mostly about him and barely pays attention to Marion Cotillard‘s Ann, an opera singer who marries Henry (and vice versa), and gives birth to their daughter.”
“Annette is a misanthropic rock opera about rabid egotism, demonic personality disorder, black soul syndrome, rage, alcoholism, murder, self-loathing, self-destruction.”
Critic who strongly disagrees: “For daring, imagination, energy, it’s the film of the year so far. Fuck populism.”