Though uncertainty still reigns in a Europe continuing to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccination effort to quell it, the Cannes Film Festival is moving ahead undaunted. With a few months’ delay to a July opening, they’ll soon mount a 2021 iteration of their program, and they’ve begun announcing titles to prove it.
Though included in the batch of selections announced last year by Cannes as the ‘We Would Have Premiered It If We Could’ slate, Wes Anderson’s latest film The French Dispatch will open on the banks of the Croisette this summer. But today’s big news concerns the other confirmed pick for this year’s festivities – Leos Carax’s long-delayed, long-anticipated musical Annette, which received its first trailer this morning.
The French boundary-breaker hasn’t appeared at the Palais in nearly a decade, since his universally-acclaimed Holy Motors took the promenade by storm in 2012. He appears to be pulling out all the stops for his English-language debut, mounting a realist-fantasy of family and fate with surreal interludes and ambitious production numbers.
Adam Driver leads the cast as a stand-up comedian madly in love with a world-famous soprano (Marion Cotillard, taking over for the initially cast Rooney Mara), their life together complicated by the arrival of their baby girl Annette. The child possesses some fashion of supernatural power, which places her in a larger-than-life drama involving a conductor (Simon Helberg), another singer (Belgian chanteuse Angèle, taking over in a role once held by Rihanna), original music from the band Sparks, a theatrical night on the stormy seas, jail time, and crowds of cheering fans.
The trailer clarifies little, though that’s precisely how Carax fans would like it, preferring to allow his strange and mysterious films to open up in their own time. It won’t be long now, with the film scheduled to open Cannes the first week of July, the same day it will go wide to cinemas across France. The movies are returning – nature is returning.
Annette will debut at Cannes and in French theaters on 6 July.
Published 19 Apr 2021
Rooney Mara, Adam Driver and Rihanna are on board, and pop duo Sparks are supplying the music.
French enfant terrible Leos Carax finally comes good with this sublime and surreal ode to acting, moviemaking, Paris and the whole damn thing.
It’s not four-hours long, but the director’s latest is shaping up to be something major.