Every Leos Carax film feels like an event. The iconoclastic French director has made only six movies across his career, including such celebrated works as Les Amants Du Pont Neuf and Holy Motors. So any time he turns on the camera, you know you’re in for something special. A visually resplendent rock musical, Annette is exactly that.
His first English-language movie, which had a spectacular reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is a unique collaboration with Russell and Ron Mael, the American duo better known as the band Sparks. Already the subject of an Edgar Wright documentary, The Sparks Brothers, the Mael siblings have written all the songs here. Originally destined to be a concept album, these infectious tunes, which tell the story of an artistic couple in the spotlight, formed the backbone for a film when Carax showed an interest. Theirs is a sumptuous combination: the director’s trademark visual panache married to Sparks’ playful, witty lyrics.
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