Take or leave. Leos Carax is not a half-measures director: in sixty years he has signed only six feature films (plus a few short films, also about Carla Bruni), carefully cultivating his marginal image. In France they called him a “punk” director and in fact what he does best is to destroy the dominant rules, not so much with the taste of provocation as with that of displacement, of surprise. His films are never what is expected. Also Annette, chosen to inaugurate Cannes and blow on the controversy between enhancers and detractors. The story seems linear: two artists with opposite characters and careers – he (Adam Driver) stand-up comedian with sulphurous comedy, she (Marion Cotillard), famous soprano – passionately love each other until the birth of a daughter, Annette, it seems to put man in crisis.
Professionally. And sentimentally, because he begins to question himself about the meaning of his love, about the “abyss” that opens up before him and into which he will fall irreparably. To tell it Carax uses the songs and music of the Mael brothers (known as the Sparks) but does not make a musical, but a kind of cinematic work, without ballet, with the songs used almost like recitatives. Then he frames the film with a double “exhortation” to the public, at first asking him to refrain from commenting on the action and to hold his breath (for the 140 minutes in length …) and at the end inviting them to advertise it with friends. But above all he is more interested in emphasizing the play of representation, the role of others in determining his own image, the weight of conventions (with her dreaming of a trial by other women against her man). Thus the melodrama evaporates under too many allusions and quotations (there is also Poe’s monkey and Vidor’s crowd) and above all remains the monument that the director has raised to his narcissism: someone will applaud, even if much more should be asked at the cinema .
July 6, 2021 (change July 7, 2021 | 10:18)
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