A fantastical fever dream that’s hard to follow or enjoy: Annette reviewed

Leos Carax is the director whose films have always been wilfully odd. Ron and Russell Mael (the brothers from the band Sparks) have also always been wilfully odd. Annette is a collaboration between the three and is therefore wilfully odd in spades. Starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, it is a fantastical, fever-dreamish, sung-through rock opera and I bet you won’t see a more wilfully odd film this year. As regular readers will know, I am generally fond of any film that busts all known Hollywood formats. Yet while I tried with every fibre of my being to like Annette I did not entirely succeed. The original idea came from

When musical collaborations go right – and when they go horribly wrong

Big Red Machine release their second album later this month. It’s a fine name for ten tonnes of agricultural apparatus but perhaps not quite so persuasive for a pop group, particularly one with a considerably lower profile than most of its members. A collective formed by the National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Big Red Machine has corralled the likes of Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Sharon Van Etten and Taylor Swift into making a collaborative record called How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?. It sounds intriguing on paper, but the quality of musical collaborations is notoriously hard to gauge from the cast list. Unlike film, in