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Art House

Annette (2021)

Duration2h 21m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 16 
Source of storyRock opera developed by Ron Mael and Russell Mael
DirectorLeos Carax
Writers/ScriptRon Mael, Russell Mael (known as Sparks)
StarringAdam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg
RatingsIMDb: 6.4 by 64,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 70% by 209 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: A shock comedian, a bit in the style of Andy Kaufman marries a soprano and they have a briefly idyllic existence, followed closely by the media. In time they have a baby, which is, although no-one acknowledges it, a wooden puppet. Later the soprano becomes more successful, and the comedian goes beyond the pale resulting audience disaffection and the cancellation of his shows.  Later they are at sea during extremely rough weather, and the comedian is drunk and dancing with the soprano on the deck. She disappears over the side and the comedian with the puppet row ashore. Later the puppet, with the soprano’s voice becomes a hit.

Content: There is sex, of that curious sort which, although involving nakedness, does not reveal any rude bits and in this case also has singing in it. We see the comedian performing, he is billed as “The Ape of God”. We see the soprano performing, mostly on stage but sometimes wandering in forests. The comedian rides about on a motor cycle. We see them at their house, which mainly seems to consist of a swimming pool. The soprano’s accompanist has a place, assisting with the development of the “Baby Annette” singing phenomenon. Later he claims to be the possible father of the child/puppet, with tragic consequences.

A View: I saw this film with my wife in a cinema in Madrid. We will both remember it, but not in a good way. The critics by and large liked it, but they would, its one of those very unusual sort of experimental outings that they usually admire. I knew that there was singing in it, but I did not know that all there was singing, and I dislike anything which has people singing all the time in it. This is not drama as I know it, although I admit I’m not quite sure what it is, and most of us would probably agree that it was far too long. I disliked it, but who knows, it might float your boat.

Additional Info: The comedian rides a Triumph motorcycle, almost certainly a Bonneville Speedmaster.     

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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