'Annette' turns Adam Driver loose in a musical that falls woefully flat

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Adam Driver stars successful  the philharmonic  'Annette.'

(CNN)"Annette" premiered astatine the Cannes Film Festival, buoyed by the intriguing tandem of Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard successful an archetypal musical. The resulting movie, however, hits the incorrect notes, repeating mundane lyrics without uttering the words that support coming to mind, which are "precious" and "pretentious."

French manager Leos Carax was honored astatine Cannes, wherever the movie had its admirers arsenic good arsenic naysayers. The framing of the communicative coyly lays retired that the formed and unit are putting connected a amusement for you (a philharmonic conceit akin to "Jesus Christ Superstar" 50 years ago), suggesting the request for a definite suspension of disbelief.

Nevertheless, what follows fundamentally misuses the philharmonic format, having characters half-talk, half-sing their thoughts and feelings successful stilted song, and employing different surreal devices that beryllium little transporting than simply irritating.

    It doesn't assistance that there's a acquainted "A Star is Born" dynamic built into the story, which focuses connected the improbable narration betwixt a provocateur comedian, Driver's Henry McHenry, and an opera diva, Ann (Cotillard). There's not overmuch consciousness of a transportation betwixt the two, but they indispensable beryllium successful love, due to the fact that they sing "We emotion each different truthful much" adjacent successful the midst of sex.

      As the fictitious entertainment-news programme Showbizz News explains, erstwhile the movie begins some stars are "at the pinnacle of their careers," which makes their engagement and matrimony catnip for the paparazzi (who, similar Henry's performance audiences, awkwardly sing backmost astatine them). Soon enough, though, the 2 invited a babe girl, Annette, astatine which constituent their enslaved begins to sour, with Henry's vocation declining portion Ann's ascends.

      What happens aft that becomes progressively acheronian and twisted, and shouldn't beryllium spoiled to the grade that it can. Suffice it to accidental that the movie gives Driver -- who explored a soured narration successful "Marriage Story" -- ample accidental to emote and sing (the songs travel courtesy of Sparks), which is admirable successful 1 respect and an overreach successful another. At a definite point, the astir intriguing thought becomes what HBO's John Oliver, having spoofed Driver's appeal, volition bash with this bounty of freshly minted material.

      The formed includes "The Big Bang Theory's" Simon Helberg arsenic Ann's accompanist, astir the lone relation beyond the leads that importantly registers.

      Pressed to explicate what "Annette" is yet about, the temptation is to respond, glibly, that it's astir 2 hours and 20 minutes. Because immoderate the movie wants to convey astir the tortured quality of love, fame, and the toll parenthood tin nonstop is arsenic muddled arsenic lyrics that support repeating phrases similar "I'm not that drunk."

        Although the movie volition debut successful US theaters first, a much logical venue for the funny to spot it volition beryllium via Amazon, wherever "Annette" lands successful a fewer weeks. Let the grounds show, incidentally, that nary drinking took spot portion watching the movie for this review. But by the clip it was over, that didn't look similar a atrocious idea.

        "Annette" premieres Aug. 6 successful US theaters, and Aug. 20 connected Amazon Prime. It's rated R.

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