Today: April 17, 2024

Annette

It’s taken 40 years for Sparks to become an overnight success. And this year, sees the release of their first full-length musical—Annette.

Directed by Leos Carax (Holy Motors), Annette stars Adam Driver (Star Wars) and Marion Cotillard (Inception), along with Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) and Belgian singer-songwriter Angèle, in her acting debut. 

Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks provided the story and music for the film and, as would be expected, the result is a wild, creative ride. 

The glamorous lives of a seemingly perfect celebrity couple–a provocative stand-up comedian and an internationally renowned opera singer–take an unexpected turn when their daughter Annette is born with a mysterious gift. 

There’s no doubt that it takes a director with monumentally large cahoonas to pull-off a post-modern comic opera in which two of Hollywood’s biggest stars play second fiddle to a puppet. But pull it off Carax does. In lesser hands Annette could easily have become too silly, too melodramatic, too self-aware. But Carax takes the theatrical nature of the material runs with. The result is a strange and breathtakingly daring beast. Set that against the backdrop of Sparks’ ever upbeat, and never all-together serious material, the result is triumphant. With a small, self-effacing T.

It’s true that there are times when Annette seems overly trite—mawkish even—but the set-up is a means to an larger end. And, once the playful deconstruction of the creative arts has ended, Annette delivers a surprisingly sharp emotional shock.

Extras include a Q&A with Ron and Russell Mael (Sparks) and six exclusive arts cards (blu-ray only).

MUBI, the theatrical distributor and global curated film-streaming service, is pleased to announce that Leos Carax’s critically acclaimed Annette will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from 10th January 2022. It can be pre-ordered here.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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