A Los Angeles fairy tale doomed to become a cynical tragedy. Stand-up comedian Henry, a self-proclaimed “The Ape of God”, and Ann, an opera diva, are madly in love with one another. So passionately and earnestly that they dedicate a duet to their love. Every night, Henry’s devastating humour “kills” the audience, while Ann’s voice guides and “saves” them. Henry quips that humour is one of the few opportunities to tell the truth without getting killed. After the birth of their gifted daughter Annette, the world changes genres; envy, resentment, bad publicity, the tabloids, #MeToo and evil born of jealousy. So may we start?
Director Leos Carax won the award for Best Director at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with this provocative and deeply personal musical starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard as the two lovers. The film was originally written by Ron and Russell Mael as an album for their band Sparks. The film-obsessed brothers’ initial idea was for a musical, The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, but this proved too technically complex, so their ideas eventually evolved into the pop-rock opera Annette. The Maels met serene French extremist Carax at a party in Cannes… and the rest is history. In the film’s introduction, a choir orchestrated by Carax and the Maels gives the following instructions: please do not sing, laugh, applaud, weep, yawn, boo or fart!