Director: Leos Carax
Year Released: 2021
Carax goes ... Broadway? "Comedian"/performance artist Henry (Adam Driver) is in a relationship with successful opera singer Ann (Marion Cotillard) but becomes jealous when his fame wanes and hers rises (echoes of A Star Is Born, clearly) so he murders her on a yacht (Natalie Wood, anyone?) - later on, he realizes the child they had together, Annette, is a musical prodigy, so he takes her on tour. When filmmakers set out to make a project, I'm sure many of them weigh how many creative liberties they should take ... but Carax doesn't seem to have that off-switch in his head, plunging himself (and the audience) head first into a visual feast that borrows from German Expressionism, experimental theatre and opera, and then he takes chances so many others wouldn't bother with, like asking people who can't sing to sing and making the title character a marionette (in what's actually a brilliant move - she becomes "real" later on). The story (and songs) are by the Mael brothers (of the cult band Sparks), and this is just like their music: extravagant, indulgent and certainly not for everybody. For Carax, it's another diamond in his filmography: I'll be expecting another great effort in the 2030's, since he's not a director who pumps out a film a year....