Annette is a musical psychological drama film directed by Leos Carax (in his English-language debut) in 2021, with a script by Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks, and Carax, based on an original plot, music, and songs by the band. The storey revolves on a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and his opera singer wife (Marion Cotillard), and how their lives alter after they birth their first kid. Devyn McDowell and Simon Helberg also star.
UGC Distribution distributed Annette in France on July 7, 2021, a day after it premiered as the opening picture at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Critics have given the film favourable reviews.
What The Movie is All About?
Provocative stand-up comedian Henry McHenry openly announces his engagement to world-famous singer Ann Desfranoux after a brief relationship. Ann gives birth to their daughter Annette, who is played by a wooden marionette puppet, not long after. The marriage grows strained as Henry is forced to care for Annette as Annette’s career takes off, sending her on a worldwide tour.
Ann has a dream about six women coming forward with claims of prior abuse by Henry, followed by a nightmare about Henry almost murdering her. Back back home, Henry’s own career is on the decline, compounded by an onstage outburst, and he begins to resent Ann’s ongoing success. Ann goes overboard during a stormy night as Henry drunkenly pushes her to waltz with him, and the two plan a secret trip to repair their romance. Following her mother’s death, Annette gets the power to sing in her mother’s voice, which she uses to terrorise Henry.
Henry finds himself in a financial bind without Ann’s salary, while being absolved of legal suspicion for her murder. He reaches out to Annette’s old accompanist, revealing Annette’s singing voice and proposing that they exploit her talent in a musical performance. The accompanist grudgingly accepts, having fallen in love with Ann, and Baby Annette becomes a worldwide sensation as they tour together.
Henry, tormented by Ann, continues to drink heavily and remain out late. When Henry returns home one night, he hears Annette singing the tune of “We Love Each Other So Much,” which is apparently just Ann and Henry’s song. He confronts the pianist, who claims to be Annette’s biological father. Henry drowns him in the backyard pool in vengeance, which Annette witnesses from her bedroom window.
Henry has one more performance planned for the “Hyperbowl” halftime show, but she refuses to sing and instead declares to the crowd, “Daddy kills people.” Henry is put on trial and found guilty.
Annette sees her father in jail a few years later, and when he tells her she looks different, she speaks not via the puppet in front of him, but through an actual kid standing by the window. Annette dismisses his attempts at reconciliation, even accusing her mother of manipulating her for vengeance. Henry and Annette exchange one final goodbye before she departs, her destiny uncertain. On the floor, the Annette puppet is discarded and dead.
Interesting Things You Must Know
Leos Carax was slated to make his English-language feature debut in November 2016, with Adam Driver, Rooney Mara, and Rihanna in discussions to star in the picture. Filming was supposed to start in the spring of 2017.
The film was bought by Amazon Studios in March 2017, although Mara and Rihanna were no longer participating in the production. Michelle Williams was cast in the role of Mara in May, and production is set to begin in July. The film’s production was halted, with screenwriters Ron and Russell Mael blaming the delay on Driver’s Star Wars commitments. Filming has been rescheduled until the summer of 2019.
In May 2019, production on the film restarted, with Marion Cotillard replacing Williams. Simon Helberg joined the cast of the film in October 2019. Filming began in August 2019, with locales including Los Angeles, Brussels, and Bruges, as well as Münster, Cologne, and Bonn in Germany. The project was completed in November of this year. Belgian singer Angèle was recruited in an unannounced role in January 2020, according to reports.
When Was it Released?
Annette made her film début on July 6, 2021, at the Cannes Film Festival and UGC Distribution published it the same day in France. The film had a limited theatrical release in North America on August 6, 2021, before being released digitally on Amazon Prime Video on August 20, 2021. The film’s UK and Ireland distribution rights were purchased by streaming provider MUBI in June 2021. It was also selected for the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s ‘Gala Presentation’ segment and will be screened during the festival.
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