French director Leos Carax's musical love story "Annette," starring Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg, will open this year's Cannes Film Festival, the festival announced Monday.
Carax, who caused a sensation nine years ago with his competition entry "Holy Motors," returns to the Croisette with his first English-language film, which will screen on July 6 to open the pandemic-delayed festival. The film will also open that night in French cinemas.
The film, featuring a soundtrack composed by the art-rock band The Sparks, follows a glamorous couple in contemporary L.A.: Driver is a stand-up comic, while Cotillard is an internationally famous singer. Their lives are changed by the birth of their daughter, Annette, described as "a mysterious girl with an exceptional destiny."
Ron and Russell Mael also conceived the story for the film, which was initially intended as a concept studio album. The film was produced by Charles Gilliber, Paul-Dominique Vacharasinthu and Driver in association with Amazon Studios, Arte and Canal Plus.
"Every Leos Carax film is an event. And this one delivers on its promises! 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 Film Festival president Pierre Lescure said in statement.
"We couldn't have dreamed of a more beautiful reunion with cinema and the silver screen, in the Palais des festivals where films come to assert their splendor," Cannes head Thierry Frémaux added. "Carax's cinema is an expression of these powerful gestures, these mysterious alchemies that makes the secret of cinema's modernity and eternity."
This year's pandemic-delayed festival will run July 6-17, 2021.