This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Harry Du Bois’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Is it wrong to say I expected a more zany, surreal movie? I'm the only one to blame here, since I purposefully kept my distance from any early reviews or trailers, but I did think that Annette would be something more akin to Holy Motors in terms of flow and presentation. Oh well.
I had a blast watching this film. I'm just really into musicals, and especially musical films that commit to the artform to a T; the opening is a catchy way to hook the audience, and it was certainly a bold move to fill the entire script with musical numbers. Needless to say, Adam Driver is a powerhouse. Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg are fantastic. I was very surprised by the direction Leos Carax took with the film, and how open it was about its condemnation of parental abuse. It's... never an easy topic for films to tackle, and so many of them skirt around the issue by either overhumanizing the perpetrator or oversimplifying the process/fallout. Regardless of what I think about Annette and its ups and downs, I will wholeheartedly commend Carax for giving the victim a voice, an agency, a power to cast aside those who have wronged her. Annette is a young girl, a person who has the right to live a life without psychological abuse and exploitation, who can condemn her parents and lead her own life — and to see that represented onscreen is refreshing. Maybe there is some good out there yet.
Good movie. I'm glad it got all the applause it deserved from Cannes.