Leo Carax's 'Annette' to open Cannes Film Festival in July

The film, starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, is the first feature from the festival's line-up to be announced

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Adam Driver, left, and Marion Cotillard in a scene from "Annette," a film that will open the 74th Cannes Film Festival on July 6. (Amazon via AP)
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Leo Carax's Annette, starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the 74th Cannes Film Festival, festival organisers revealed on Monday.

The cinematic event is set to kick-off on July 6, after being postponed from its usual May dates. The rest of this year's line-up is yet to be revealed.

Annette is Carax's first English-language film and the French director's anticipated follow-up to his celebrated, surreal 2012 film Holy Motors.

Set in contemporary Los Angeles, Annette stars Marriage Story actor Driver and Oscar-winner Cotillard as a glamorous couple — Driver plays a stand-up comedian, Cotillard a famous singer — whose first child is "a mysterious girl with an exceptional destiny", according the festival's description.

"Every Leo Carax film is an event. And this one delivers on its promises," said Pierre Lescure, president of the festival. "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."

Cannes was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but is planning — "with confidence and determination" — an in-person edition this summer, two months later than usual. Spike Lee will act as president of the jury, with selections are to be announced at the end of next month.

Amazon Studios will release Annette in the US late this summer in cinemas and on Amazon Prime. The film's release in France will coincide with its Cannes premiere.

“We couldn’t have dreamt of a more beautiful reunion with cinema and the silver screen, in the Palais des Festivals where films come to assert their splendour," said Thierry Fremaux, Cannes' general delegate.

“Carax’s cinema is an expression of these powerful gestures, these mysterious alchemies that makes the secret of cinema’s modernity and eternity."

Cannes last year first looked at postponing its 73rd festival to June or July, before ultimately cancelling altogether. The festival still went ahead with a selection announcement to celebrate the films it had planned to include in its prestigious line-up.