Both Adam Driver and Rooney Mara have been on a hot streak for some time now, and it was borderline inevitable that they would show up in the same movie. That’s not just because they’ve both been booking consistent high-profile gigs as of late. Both of these performers have proven to be incredibly talented at bringing expressive touches to often introverted or damaged characters and both have a history of stealing the show. So, today’s announcement, via Variety, that Mara and Driver will be starring as lovers in Leos Carax‘s Annette, the director’s anticipated English-language musical.
Carax is arguably one of France’s most important directors right now, having last graced the big screen with the extravagant, indescribable Holy Motors, easily one of the best movies of this decade. Annette would be his first English-language film after making five great movies in his native country, including classics like Mauvais Sang and The Lovers on the Bridge. Where so many French films feel at least a little indebted to the bucolic environs of Eric Rohmer or the wacky comedic whims of Francis Veber‘s early work, Carax is in a class of personal French cinema that recalls Jean-Luc Godard‘s more widely accessible works and little else. And unlike many of the best modern French directors, all of Carax’s works are readily available in the states, a small but substantial miracle for film lovers.
The idea of him bringing his cinematic style and artistic persona to an international co-production, which will shoot in Los Angeles and several other international locales, immediately makes me impatient to see this, even as the movie has barely gotten off the ground at this point. The fact that Rihanna is rumored to have a role in the movie as well is a dicey proposition, but if anyone can make a big-screen performer out of the Battleship star, it’s Carax. The musical numbers will be written by the duo of Ron and Russell Mael, the chief creative forces behind the 70s art-pop outfit Sparks, which suggests that this won’t be your everyday nostalgia-kick modern musical. Then again, almost nothing about Carax would fit under the label of the everyday.