Director: Leos Carax
Date Created: 2021-08-20 00:00
Have you finished watching Annette, and yet, are left with more questions than answers?
Are you still wondering, “What is the point of the movie Annette?”
Or rather, are you considering watching Annette but are you confused by what to expect?
Well, wherever your bewilderment lies, this post is hoping to clarify the confusion.
Annette is a bizarre, dramatic, rock opera about a man named Henry (Adam Driver), an eccentric, mysterious comedian who falls in love with Ann (Marion Cotillard), a graceful, respectable opera singer. After the birth of their first child, Annette, hidden desires in the couple begin to unravel in unsettling ways.
Because of how strange and borderline abstract this film is, there are many moments of confusion.
Like – what’s going on here and why?
There are seven main questions concerning the movie Annette that need answers. So let’s explore some answers, shall we?
Questions you may have before watching the movie:
1. Is Annette scary?
The film, Annette, is not so much scary as it is unsettling. There are definitely moments that make you feel uneasy. Strange, bizarre, cringeworthy moments. Random outbursts and unconventional artistic choices. Yet, nothing will give you nightmares or even a jump scare. So, as a lightweight, who cannot handle scary movies, I can confirm that Annette is not a scary movie nor is it a horror film.
2. Is Annette a comedy?
Despite the fact that the main character, Henry, is a comedian, you are not likely to find yourself laughing too much along with this film. Even during the stand-up comedy scenes. The feigned light-heartedness is often overshadowed by a dark ominous cloud. A strange mixture of comedy and tragedy, laughter and death. I did, however, have a few chuckles during the conductor’s scene. He was one of my favorite characters and he has great hair.
3. Is Annette sad?
Yes, Annette is a sad movie. It touches on many disheartening subjects like death, exploitation, and broken relationships. Although you may not shed a tear during this movie (it didn’t necessarily pull too hard on my heartstrings) you’re not likely to be beaming with joy and hope after watching it.
Questions you may have after watching the movie:
4. What is the mark on Henry’s face in Annette?
The meaning behind the mark on Henry’s face is confirmed in the second to last song of the movie called, “Stepping Back in Time.” The mark/scar/rash on Henry’s face grew larger, darker, and more misshapen over the course of the film as his “rage was magnified.” Henry made many rash decisions (pun intended). He called his fatal deeds a “rash act,” in the song aforementioned.
Alluding to his scar as a rash seems to be an appropriate assumption since when he was questioned after the death of his wife, he began to deliberately scratch the mark on his face as if it was itchy. Naturally, when you scratch a rash more, it often grows and becomes less controllable, a metaphor for Henry’s sinister side. The death of the conductor was less of a mistake and more of a scratch that Henry had been burning to itch.
There were four main moments in the film where the mark on Henry’s face became increasingly visible:
1) During the singing montage about how he and Ann “love each other so much.”
2) After Ann’s death, the mark became darker and more visible, yet still held a uniform, orderly shape.
3) After he was arrested for the death of the conductor, the scar became more obvious, less controlled, and more misshapen.
4) By the end of the movie, after Henry has spent some time in jail, the mark is unmissable. No long hair to hide it as its dark purple and scarlet hue contrast his pale skin. The mark punctures his cheekbone now, and the camera makes no effort to avoid his bad side or conceal his mark in the shadows.
5. Why is Annette a puppet?
Annette as a puppet is a metaphor for the exploitation she had endured from both her mother and her father. Her mother used her as a vessel in which to haunt her father. Annette would sing with the timbre of her mother’s voice, stirring up feelings of fear and guilt in her father, Henry. And Henry used Annette’s beautiful voice as a means to make money after his comedy career flopped.
Annette didn’t become fully realized as her own person until the very end of the movie when she confronted her father in jail. Here, she finally took on a human form and made it clear that she refused to be anyone’s puppet again. In the closing number, she told Henry, “Both of you [her parents] were using me for your own ends.” She was simply not having it anymore and refused to sing ever again.
Besides the artistic interpretation of Annette as a puppet, I also think that it made filming and production 10x easier because there are (thankfully) stricter restrictions when working with children. You can’t just harness a child 100 feet in the air as you can do with a puppet. So, the technical aspect of using a puppet instead definitely came in handy.
On a completely separate note, the little girl who played the human version of Annette (Devyn McDowell) was incredibly adorable and absolutely captivating. It was a breath of fresh air to see her so animated, real, and passionate on the screen.
6. What is the point of the movie Annette?
Honestly, I was wondering this up until the last 15 minutes of the movie. I was just like, “Where is this going?” By the end of the movie though, I would argue that the loose strings were tied together to create a comprehensible bigger picture.
The point of the movie Annette is to tell a compelling story about how suppressed evil can spill out and hurt those around you. Henry was the focal point of this film and his actions negatively affected everyone around him. Annette was the water that put his fire out and brought him to a place where he had to confront the evil within him and atone for it.
Without that last scene with Annette and Henry singing it out in jail, this movie would have felt more like a meaningless, barely intriguing sequence of poorly sung events.
Question for whether you’ve seen the movie or not:
7. Is Annette a good movie?
Annette is not bad but it’s not necessarily the most engaging watch either. The characters feel emotionally distant, the music and lyrics are so matter-of-fact that it almost insults the intelligence of the viewers, the singing is unimpactful, and the bizarre artistic choices seem pointless. However, if you make it to the end, it doesn’t feel like a complete waste of time. The end is satisfactory. There is character growth and due justice. No aching details are left hanging in the wind.
In conclusion, Annette is a peculiar musical film with subpar music and a dramatic plot.
Do you have any other unanswered questions from the movie Annette? Let me know in the comments below!
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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,