Amazon Studios’ “Annette” musical groove landed on the grounds of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. While the terms “odd” and “eccentric” are euphemisms used to describe the opera musical, it is the type of eclectic and artistically charged cinematic endeavor that has always brought a movie buff to the movies, and one that might appeal to you. to the European vote. Oscars in several categories of craftsmen and major recognition for Simon Helberg as a supporting actor. Depending on how the rest of the dense and busy year stacks up against other studios, there might be a prospect for its top-selling stars, and maybe even a better nominating piece for the photo. Still, it will take a fiery, vocal base in the Oscar ranks to get that particular kind of item through the rewards machine.

“Annette” tells the story of comedian Henry McHenry (Adam Driver) and soprano singer Ann Defrasnoux (Marion Cotillard), a couple whose glamorous lives take a turn when their daughter Annette is born, who has a secret gift but unique. From Leos Carax, the visionary French filmmaker behind BAFTA-nominated “The Lovers on the Bridge” and critically acclaimed “Holy Motors”, it’s an exercise in how a writer can be a writer.

The long road of Ron and Russell Mael, better known as pop and rock duo Sparks, was well examined in Focus Features’ living Edgar Wright documentary “The Sparks Brothers,” which opened in June. Understanding the daring take musicians have on their art and being familiar with their attempt to make the Japanese manga “May, the Psychic Girl” a musical starring Tim Burton in the late 1980s will provide a much needed starting point for entering. in “Annette. How many new and younger members will know Sparks and share their take on love and music? It’s a difficult question to decipher, but if there is an audience that can start well, it is? ‘is Cannes.

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Courtesy of Amazon Studios

The easiest route for recognition will be in the musical branch, especially for the original song. The opening number, “So May We Start,” which channels the energetic debut of “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973), might be the track with the best shot for wide support from composers and songwriters. Its compositional framework and its catchy melody are enough to seduce the many expected dissidents. Meanwhile, “Sympathy for the Abyss” features a raw, heart-wrenching rendition that moviegoers love to see in musicals. Because it also intersects with the narrative mysteries the viewer embarks on, there may be more appreciation from voting members about what it stands for and its benefits. Depending on which songs and how many songs Amazon chooses to submit for awards (the Oscars have announced a limit of five songs going forward), we’ll see if they cast a wider net or streamline its resources.

“Annette” examines the complexities of Hollywood stardom in the relationship of a tortured artist living in the shadow of her more successful counterpart – in other words, the kind of story the Oscars typically love. Unfortunately, in the race for the original screenplay – written by Ron, Russell, and Carax – this can be too big a hurdle to jump through.

Musicals and horror movies generally qualify for awards with some baggage. In the history of the Oscars, the writing branch has not been kind to the musical. The first and only musical to win an original screenplay was Alan Jay Lerner’s “An American in Paris” (1951). In the same space, only eight others were nominated, most recently “La La Land” (2016), which lost to “Manchester by the Sea” by Kenneth Lonergan. Before that, you traveled almost 40 years back to “Fame” (1980). Even when “Chicago” (2002) won the Best Picture award, he couldn’t put the statuette together in an adapted screenplay, losing to “The Pianist”. These are always hard statistics to overcome, especially if you are not active in the winner discussion, which will not be the case. Acting mentions might be a more accessible scope.

We saw Driver play a role like this with Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” (2019), where we saw the first glimpse of his vocal chops during the pivotal “Being Alive” moment and for which he received a nomination. to best actor, probably the finalist of Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker”. Driver is deliciously deep like the dark comedic Henry, who feels eerily like the start of a cinematic Bo Burnham. With another name to his credit for “BlacKkKlansman” (2018), he has established himself as one of our biggest active players. He feels like the one who will inevitably have his Oscar moment soon. The problem this year will be to choose which of its many projects to support.

With Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and “House of Gucci” facing Lady Gaga, the 38-year-old actor will have to lend his support to whoever has the best chance of recognition. Based on the premise, “The Last Duel” is said to be a supporting play, while opening words suggest he’s a co-lead in the story of Maurizio Gucci’s murder by his wife, Patrizia. Could he be a double-acting candidate down the line, or will he and his team ditch those who don’t match voters?

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As for Simon Helberg, most appreciated for playing our favorite aerospace engineer from “The Big Bang Theory”, he is utterly splendid as a conductor, highlighting his best performance to date and the best of all supporting cast this year so far. Offering a more grounded and accessible role for the casual viewer, in what I consider the best scene in the film, her “I Am an Accompanist” resembles the cinematic and emotional equivalent of Emma Stone’s “Audition” from “The The Land. He is allowed to stretch in a way that has never been offered to him until now while combining Carax’s narrative vision, evidenced by the exquisite panoramic camera technique of DP Caroline Champtier.

For Champtier, she will likely be one of the few female filmmakers in the conversation this year, and would be an inspired and award-worthy craftswoman.

As Ann, Marion Cotillard returns to a musical narrative in which she has excelled throughout her career. Always showing ease and a naturalistic approach to her roles, she displays Ann’s love, fear and torment almost perfectly. Critics and audiences alike can get carried away by his duet with Driver, “We Love Each Other So Much”, in which he performs cunnilingus while singing the expressive number. It is certainly a provocative moment, and one which will be adopted by the large number of European members of the Academy. For Cotillard’s award chances, the 45-year-old actress won the Oscar for Best Actress for “La Vie en Rose” (2007), in the role of the iconic French singer Edith Piaf. However, she struggled to return to the Oscars ranks despite well-received rounds in the films “Public Enemies” (2009), “Nine” (2009), “Inception” (2010), “Rust and Bone” ( 2012) and “The immigrant” (2013). It wasn’t until she landed a surprise nomination for “Two Days, One Night” (2014) that she was able to return after leading the Forerunners and missing critical nominations to Globe, SAG and BAFTA. Likely to mount a supporting actress run, which is more than appropriate given how the story unfolds, she could be a possibility if the film manages to stay on the radar after its August release.

Likely to incredibly divide audiences, the film showcases admirable achievements in the technical categories that could be factored into the Oscars equation. The way Carax chooses to portray and present Annette, Henry and Ann’s unique and gifted daughter, is spectacularly inventive. While this may seem shocking to casual moviegoers at first glance, I imagine members of the production design and visual effects branches may be wowed by its approach.

Let’s see if the Palace Arch was the right choice.

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