Leo Carax’s “Annette” is the Halley’s comet of cinema. Something so bad, it comes around once, at most twice, in a lifetime

Yes, it has its champions, but to say that I disliked Leos Caraxs French movie musical “Annette” (it’s actually in English and set in a Los Angeles that seems filtered through the stained-glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle) is an understatement! I thought it was 141 minutes of pure, unadulterated hell! An event such as this, where bad music (courtesy of Mael brothers, aka the rock group Sparks) meets self-indulgent writing and direction, de cette manière typiquement français, can only happen once, or at most twice, in a lifetime. It’s like Halley’s comet! Marion Cotillard is almost not in the thing – her character is a sham, and it’s not surprising that so many actresses were associated with the part and dropped out. It’s misogynistic. The film is all Adam Driver but, forcing him down our throats with all those excruciating songs, accomplished something I never thought possible – it made me dislike Driver the actor (you hate the character at hello!).

It’s a polarizing movie. People seem to either love it or hate it. Having seen some of this one-time enfant terrible’s other movies, I had a pretty good idea of what was coming. People also tend to forget that the syntax of la langue francaise does not lend itself to the construction of rock music. (Daft Punk, David Guetta and Christine would likely agree!) The reverse is, I think, also true. A person who grows up with French as their first language can , at least to the ears of a native English speaker, have des gouts differents et inhabiteul in Anglo-American rock. Only in France could Ron and Russell, who have been churning out the same obsessively repetitive music for over four decades, have a musical, a musical!, constructed around their melodically limited material. In my many years of moviegoing, I have suffered through so many French movie montages accompanied by the most hideous French pop/rock (if there is such a thing) that I feel deservant de la médaille de la légion d’honneur . “Annette” is like one of those montages, except it’s much, much, much longer!

“Annette” is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.

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