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Running at 139 minutes, it tells the story of how an evil stand-up comic (Adam Driver) and a saintly opera singer (Marion Cotillard) met, married and begat a talking wooden baby called Annette.
Neither of the leads have strong backgrounds in musicals so you have to admire them for enthusiastically singing or at least sing speaking almost all of their lines.
The songs by Ron and Russell Mael (aka pop duo Sparks) have their moments too, especially during an exuberant opening sequence that introduces us to the cast and crew.
I’ve no idea why French director Leos Carax cast a wooden Annette (the characters all see her as human) but fans of accomplished puppetry won’t be disappointed either.
While unusual, the film is also rather hard going. Its point is elusive, the characters are one-dimensional, and the lyrics aren’t especially witty.
After a while, hearing Driver intone dull lines such as “Mind the stairs” and “Follow me” becomes rather boring.
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