We've known about the potential existence of Annette, the new film by Leos Carax, for a couple years now. We've known that it would star Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard (replacing original attachment Rooney Mara), and that it would feature original songs by Sparks. But there was never any real indication that the project was actually moving forward.
Until now, as the movie trailers say:
That's not quite an official production announcement, but three years after we first caught wind of the movie, we'll take it as a positive sign. That the film's story itself was written by Sparks is news to us as well. More concretely, Driver will play a stand-up comedian, recently widowed, and his relationship with his two-year-old daughter, who's "gifted" in some unexpected way. It's gearing up to shoot shortly, and will be distributed in the United States by Amazon.
Why should you be excited about this film? Four reasons:
- Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard are both rather good actors whose work you probably know by this point. One was in Star Wars, and the other was in Batman, while both have been nominated for and/or awarded Academy Awards elsewhere.
- Leos Carax is a routinely inventive director whose last film, Holy Motors, is absolutely astonishing. He's yet to make an uninteresting movie. This will be his English-language debut.
- Sparks are a pretty terrific band who have constantly reinvented themselves and are best described as "Queen, but weirder and still together." Listen to Kimono My House and Propaganda, both incredibly released in the same year, or watch Edgar Wright's upcoming doc about them.
- Combining the above: we need more weird, inventive musicals in the world.
I'll leave you with two musical scenes from Carax's earlier work - scenes that, in the context of their respective films, are absolutely ecstatic (thanks largely to extended physical performances by Denis Lavant), and represent some of the best-ever uses of music in non-musical films. (The one from Mauvais Sang was imitated to slightly lesser effect in Frances Ha, if you're wondering why it feels oddly familiar.) Now that Carax is doing an actual musical (of sorts), I couldn't be more excited.