Cinema Annette

Directed by: Leos Carax



29 May at 9.30pm (Mon)


⇨ TICKETS ONLINE    Tickets: 3,20€ (With discounts)  +info


With: Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg Screenplay: Ron Mael, Russell Mael Music: Ron Mael, Russel Mael [Sparks] Photography: Caroline Champetier Film editing by: Nelly Quettier Puppet aesthetic designer: Estelle Charlier Puppet technical designer: Romuald Charnet Puppet props: Martin Kaspar Läuchli Age guidance: +14 | France, Germany, Belgium, 2021, 140 min. / With Portuguese subtitles

Awards: Festival de Cannes 2021 - Best director and Best Composer / César 2022 - Best Director, Best Original Music, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects / Lumières Awards - Best director, Best Cinematography, Best Music

First presentation at Cinemateca


"-I want to be sure to ask about the puppet for baby Annette. Leos, I’ve heard you say it was a series of “no”s, not wanting CGI, not wanting something animatronic, that led to the idea of a puppet. Can you talk me through the process of that decision? In a movie full of bold choices, it may be the strongest one.

Carax: I think it did come from all these "no's". And also from the same thing as the music, I wanted her to be live. And she couldn’t be a real little girl because you can’t find a little newborn who can sing. But I wanted Adam and Marion and Simon to be able to touch her. And I [know] nothing about puppets (...). And I’m not a composer for the music, I’m not a sculptor, I’m not anything actually. I need people around me to make a puppet. So it took years to find the right puppeteer. When we started, the film was an American project at first and we started here, so I meet people here. Then we became a Japanese co-production and I worked with a woman puppeteer in Japan but I could never see Annette. Finally the one who saved the film was [Estelle Charlier] a young puppeteer in France." (1)


Leos Carax opened the 2021 Cannes Film Festival with Annette. A romantic, haunting and dramatic musical, a total cinema experience, and his first English-language film, starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver. Based on an original idea by Sparks and featuring a soundtrack composed by the duo, the brothers Ron and Russell Mael. Present-day Los Angeles. Henry is an outspoken stand-up comedian, Ann a world-famous singer. They’re a happy celebrity couple, living life in the glare of the spotlight, but their world is turned upside-down by the birth of their first child, Annette, a mysterious little girl with an exceptional destiny. 

One of the particularities of Annette is that the character that gives the film its name is a puppet. And this fact was only revealed at the premiere of the film. The French company La Pendue, composed by Estelle Charlier and Romuald Collinet, created this puppet. They have already performed twice at FIMFA with Poli Degaine (2008) and Tria Fata (2017), where the audience was dazzled by the puppet manipulation and their beauty. Estelle Charlier designed Annette's face and aesthetics from a photograph of a little girl, while Romuald Collinet made it possible to set her in motion.


Leos Carax wanted to have a very small child with supernatural singing in this film, but he didn't want to use children, computer-generated images or robots. He wanted to use something that the actors could touch and hold. The solution was to use a puppet. This idea came to him when he thought of a little girl he had met some years ago in Ukraine, Masha, when she was two years old. Masha became the inspiration for Annette, which in his view had to be hand-made. His search eventually led him to the puppeteers Estelle and Romuald. Estelle sculpted her face and they both created nine different bodies for Annette, who in the film evolves from birth to become a five-year-old child, when she is played by a real actress.


(1) Interview to Leos Carax and Sparks, Leos Carax and Sparks on sex, musicals, puppets and ‘Annette’, Los Angeles Times, 23 August 2021.