Now that Leos Carax‘s Annette is playing in theatres, I’m a bit put off by the positive reviews. More than 60% of the critics on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are giving it a pass, and that’s not cool. But I’m mainly perplexed by the the genteel tone of the pans. Nobody hates this film, in short, and that doesn’t feel right. Because if there’s one movie I’ve seen this year that really pushed the revulsion button, it’s Annette.

You can admire or love Annette, of course, but if you don’t approve mild naysaying is not the way to go — trust me.

In his New Yorker review, Anthony Lane delivers what feels to me like a kid-gloves pan. He says that Annette “is a folie de grandeur, alas, without the grandeur,” and that it “strikes one false note after another,” and that “there’s nothing in Annette” — a sung-through musical, for the most part — “that’s quite as overwhelming as Adam Driver’s roaring rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Being Alive’ in Marriage Story,” etc. See? He wont do the mean.

CNN’s Brian Lowry: “Let the record show that no drinking took place while watching the movie for this review. But by the time it was over, that didn’t seem like a bad idea.” Not bad, still too restrained.

Time‘s Stephanie Zacharek: “Driver’s height and brawn are used to menacing effect here. He’s never been so believably unlikable, which is certainly an achievement, if it’s the kind of thing you want to see.” Better!

For me, reviewing Annette required absolute fuck-all bluntness. I titled the review”Revulsion and Contempt.”

“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, 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.

“Henry is a kind of sociopathic Jack the Ripper figure, and Annette is a misanthropic rock opera about rabid egotism, demonic personality disorder, black soul syndrome, rage, alcoholism, murder, self-loathing, self-destruction.”