Nine years after Holy Motors premiered in competition in Cannes, Leos Carax returns with Annette, a love story starring Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, and Simon Helberg with musical numbers by Sparks. It’s been a long time coming. The project was announced nearly five years ago, and at various stages in its development, Rooney Mara, Rihanna, and Michelle Williams were attached and then detached. Shooting finally wrapped late in 2019, and yesterday, Cannes announced that its seventy-fourth edition will open with the world premiere on July 6.
Sparks have been having quite a year. Formed in 1967 by brothers Ron and Russell Mael, the band is currently at work on its twenty-fifth album. In January, Edgar Wright’s documentary The Sparks Brothers premiered at Sundance to excellent reviews. Its 140 minutes “zip by like a tight half-hour,” finds Jessica Kiang in Variety. “In its unbombastic way, with its exhaustive archival footage deep-dive, monochromatic morsels of admiration from more than eighty celebrity interviewees and the brothers interjecting deadpan wit throughout, the film makes a persuasive case that there’s a universe running on a very close parallel to ours where Sparks are the biggest band in the world.”