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First Reactions from Cannes Opener ‘Annette’ Praise its Madness, Beauty, and Performances

Annette Cannes Premiere Positive First Reactions
Amazon Studios

The Cannes Film Festival opened with Leos Carax’s “Annette” yesterday. The film is a rock-opera romantic drama starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. The critic reviews are generally stellar, with some people going as far as to say it was the best Cannes opener of all time.

The film tells the story of an edgy stand-up comedian and his wife, a world-famous opera singer. Their glamorous life takes an unexpected turn when their daughter Annette is born with a unique gift. The seeming consensus from the premiere: “Annette” is a wild, beautiful film with great performances from its leading couple. The film’s score was created by the musical group, Sparks — the duo at the center of Edgar Wright’s recent documentary, “The Sparks Brothers.”

Bilge Ebiri of Vulture wrote that the film was, “A wildly melodramatic rock opera prone to insane flights of desire, despair, and dorkiness, Annette is gloriously artificial, often daring us to take it seriously,” despite its unpredictable departures from typical Hollywood narratives.

However, what was interesting, was the potential disparity between the film’s reception to critics versus the general audience. Variety reported that the audience reception, “was mixed…As the movie barreled on with a soundtrack of melancholy songs, hundreds of guests fled their seats and left the premiere midway through the film.” However, the film still received a standing ovation that lasted over five minutes. Some say it was simply the audience rejoicing in the return of film festivals, but it did drag on long enough for Adam Driver to indulge himself on camera.

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Even if it may not be for everyone, “Annette” seems fittingly bold enough to kickstart Cannes, especially after last year’s festival was cancelled due to the pandemic. The film will see a limited theatrical release on August 6th before streaming on Amazon Prime starting August 20th.