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'Annette': Robin's Movie Review

A movie poster for the film “Annette.” Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard are dancing together while dressed in nautical attire. They are positioned on a roaring wave at sea with stormy skies above them.
Amazon Studios

For this week’s Movie Minutes, KUNR entertainment reviewer Robin Holabird looks at a film that premiered at Cannes Film Festival and has something for everyone to like — and dislike.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival opened with what promoters called “an experimental musical” called Annette, destined toward a limited August 13 theatrical release and wider viewership on Amazon starting August 20. That word “experimental” for me stands out as key, and as a viewer, makes me the guinea pig. Fine. But as a former owner of various guinea pigs, I realize the rodents all have their own quirks.

Some only want pet store pellets — a form of fast food. Some prefer carrots, or apples, or lettuce. Audience members for Annette prove the same in their distinct tastes. Think all musicals should only emit that bright Singin’ in the Rain cheeriness? As a guinea pig, Annette just killed you. Do you feel okay with almost nonstop singing as in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg? Annette works fine.

Want really sweet, rich voices? Oops, you just died, though stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard decently carry their well-written melodies from musician and director Leos Carax of the band Sparks. Can you cope with — I pause because I prefer a term that starts with “a” but will substitute the word “jerk” — a jerk of a main character as in My Fair Lady or Nine? If so, you’re still surviving.

But can you handle singing during sex acts or while using a public restroom? And do you care about people who screw up the benefits of their massive success? Once again, step in as a guinea pig: Do you prefer the security of fast food or the risk of a new restaurant? Personally, I rank in the tolerant guinea pig mode, not exactly loving everything I went through with Annette, but here I am, still alive and appreciating that someone tried to do something different.

Robin Holabird is KUNR’s entertainment reviewer, author and former film commissioner for the Nevada Film Office. You can check out all of her reviews here.

Robin Holabird reviews movies for KUNR, and her reviews have aired for more than 30 years. During that time, she has had a high profile in the Nevada film community.
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