The Cannes Film Festival has announced that Leos Carax’s musical “Annette” will open the 2021 edition and compete for the Palme d’Or as part of the festival’s competition slate. The announcement marks Carax’s return to Cannes competition following his last directorial effort, 2012’s “Holy Motors.” “Annette” was originally set to world premiere at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, but the pandemic canceled the event and pushed the musical’s premiere into 2021.
“Every Leos Carax film is an event,” Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, said in a statement. “And this one delivers on its promises. ‘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.”
Added Thierry Frémaux, Cannes’ General Delegate, “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. Carax’s cinema is an expression of these powerful gestures, these mysterious alchemies that makes the secret of cinema’s modernity and eternity.”
“Annette” stars Adam Driver as a stand-up comedian and Marion Cotillard as his wife, a world-famous opera singer. Their glamorous life takes an unexpected turn when their daughter Annette is born, a girl with a unique gift. The film co-stars “The Big Bang Theory” actor Simon Helberg and features original music from the band Sparks, which also wrote the film’s screenplay.
“The film is completed. It’s coming out later this year,” Sparks told IndieWire at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. “We think it’s a really special film. It’s uncompromising in all sorts of ways, it’s Adam Driver and it’s a full blown musical. Adam Driver is singing more often than he’s not singing, as well as Marion Cotillard. It’s a unique story and we’re proud it managed to get made.”
Cannes added in a statement: “Mindful of the evolution of the public health situation in Europe and across the world, and the reopening of cultural venues mid-May, The Festival de Cannes continues with confidence and determination the planning of its next edition.”
“Annette” is the first film officially announced for the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Other delayed titles from the 2020 event, such as Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” are expected to return for Cannes 2021. This year’s festival is set to take place July 6-17. The official 2021 Cannes lineup will be unveiled in May.
Watch the first footage from “Annette” in the video below. Amazon will release “Annette” in U.S. theaters in late summer.