Annette, the new musical drama from French director Leos Carax, starring Cotillard and Driver, will open the 74th Cannes Film Festival, premiering in competition in Cannes on Tuesday, July 6.
Set in contemporary Los Angeles, Annette tells the story of a superficially perfect couple: Henry (Driver), a stand-up comedian with a fierce sense of humor, and Ann (Cotillard), a world-famous singer. But with the birth of their first child, Annette, both their lives will change forever. Simon Helberg co-stars. L.A. rock/pop duo Sparks (Ron and Russell Mael) co-wrote the script as well as composing the film’s soundtrack. Sparks originated the project as an idea for a concept album that Carax and the duo developed into a film.
Annette marks Carax’s first feature since the 2012 cult hit Holy Motors, which also premiered in Cannes. The eccentric French auteur has been a feature on the international film scene since his 1984 debut Boy Meets Girl and has seen success with films such as Bad Blood (1986) and The Lovers on the Bridge (1991), both of which starred Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant, and the 1999 drama Pola X, another Cannes competition entry, which starred Catherine Deneuve and the late Guillaume Depardieu.
“We couldn’t have dreamed of a more beautiful reunion with cinema and the silver screen, in the Palais des festivals where films come to assert their splendor,” Cannes Festival Director Thierry Frémaux said in a statement announcing the premiere. “Carax’s cinema is an expression of these powerful gestures, these mysterious alchemies that makes the secret of cinema’s modernity and eternity.”
“Every Leos Carax film is an event. And this one delivers on its promises!” added Cannes Festival President Pierre Lescure. “Annette is the gift that lovers of cinema, music, and culture were hoping for, one that we have been yearning for during the past year.”
Produced by Charles Gillibert, Paul-Dominique Vacharasinthu, and Driver, in association with Amazon Studios, Arte, and Canal+, Annette will be distributed in France by UGC and by Amazon in the U.S. Kinology is handling international rights. UGC plans to bow the film in France on July 6, the day of its Cannes premiere. Amazon will go out with Annette in the U.S. in late summer.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Cannes Film Festival has been pushed back from its usual dates in May to July and will run July 6-17. U.S. director Spike Lee will head up the international jury that will judge this year’s Cannes competition titles.