This year’s Cannes film festival opened with what promoters called quote, “an experimental musical” called Annette, destined towards a limited August 13th theatrical release and wider viewership on Amazon starting August 20th. That word “experimental” for me stands out as key and as a viewer makes me the guinea pig. Fine. But as a former owner of various guinea pigs, I realize the rodents all have their own quirks.
Some only want pet store pellets—a form of fast food. Some prefer carrots. Or apples. Or lettuce. Audience members for Annette prove the same in their distinct tastes. Think all musicals should only emit that bright Singin’ in the Rain cheeriness? As a guinea pig, Annette just killed you. Do you feel okay with almost nonstop singing as in Umbrellas of Cherbourg? Annette works fine.
Want really sweet, rich voices? Oops, you just died, though stars Adam Driver and Marion
decently carry their well-written melodies from musician and director Leos Carax of the band Sparks. Can you cope with …I pause because I prefer a term that starts with “a” but will substitute the word “jerk”…anyway, did you accept a jerk of a main character as in My Fair Lady or Nine? If so, survival remains.
But…can you handle singing during oral sex or while using a public restroom? And do you care about people who screw up the benefits of their massive success? Once again, step in as a guinea pig: do you prefer the security of fast food or the risk of a new restaurant? Personally, I rank in the tolerant guinea pig mode, not exactly loving everything I went through with Annette, but here I am, still alive and appreciating that someone tried to do something different.