Spoilers abound for Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard’s musical Annette.
For weeks, the internet has been wet with knowledge that Oscar-nominated king Adam Driver sings while simulating oral sex in the movie musical Annette, which hit theaters over the weekend (available on Amazon Prime August 20). Adam Driver is a big, handsome, talented man. He can do it all, from singing Sondheim in Marriage Story to making the Force sexy in The Last Jedi to animorphing into a centaur in a Burberry ad. We do not know him, but we love him unrequitedly. Whatever Adam Driver does, we like it. Unfortunately, I (an Adam Driver Loyalist) have some devastating news: Adam Driver singing while simulating cunnilingus is better in theory.
From French director Leos Carax with music by Sparks, Annette is an farcical rock opera that follows the tumultuous romance between Henry McHenry (Driver), a famous stand-up comedian and Ann Defrasnoux (Marion Cotillard), a famous opera singer. Once they get married and have a very special baby (spoiler alert: The baby is a puppet) the movie follows the dramatic downfall of their relationship. There are many weird things in Annette, such as the puppet baby and Simon Helberg from The Big Bang Theory as a hot conductor (the music kind not, the train kind), but I won’t burden you with any more spoilers from this peculiar epic.
The singing cunnilingus scene comes (sorry) early, suddenly, and too quickly considering it does not last for the film’s entire two and a half-hour runtime. It all begins with Henry and Ann singing a love song on a walk in a forest that contains trees smaller than Driver. The song is pretty much just the two lovers singing “we love each other so much” back and forth to each other, which doesn’t sound catchy, but it will be living in my brain rent free for the next six to eight months. As the song progresses, Henry and Ann go from frolicking in the woods to making passionate love indoors. There’s acrobatic sex, Adam Driver’s ass, and the cunnilingus singing. While performing oral sex on Ann, Henry pauses. His hair is long and wavy. The moon illuminates his godlike face. He sings, “we love each other so much,” resumes performing the oral sex, and the scene ends. It is fleeting, awkward, and very blue (the color of night in cinema).
As I watched this scene, I wrapped my sweaty palms around the arms of my seat, trying not to scream. I did not know how I could get through the rest of this movie without having an orgasm in public, and seriously considered shoving my fist in my mouth. But then the rest of the movie happened. Adam Driver commits murder (Kylo Ren commited murder as well but not like this), he is rude to his puppet baby, and his stand-up comedy gets more and more cringe. Just as quickly as they got clammy, my hands dried up (as well as the rest of my body) and I was fine physically, maybe not emotionally.
There are, of course, some upsides to Adam Driver in Annette. He has many haircuts, from short to kind-of-long to very long, with varying textures: straight, beachy, wavy. He does Bo Burnham-inspired stand-up in a dirty bathrobe and boxer briefs. He has fits of anger reminiscent of Kylo Ren, moodily rides a motorcycle at night, towers over everyone/thing (including trees), and lives in an L.A. home that’s mid-century-modern-meets-eccentric-lake-house and rivals the A Star Is Born (2018) house. He also does sexual tickling. Left up to your imagination, the singing cunnilingus scene is kinky.
The build up of the singing cunnilingus scene fooled me into thinking that Annette would be the greatest cinematic experience of my life. But it was, in fact, the most harrowing cinematic experience of my life because it tested my lust for Adam Driver. You know the saying “don’t meet your heroes?” Don’t watch your number one crush sing during (simulated) cunnilingus. It’s more disappointing in real life than it is in your head. Perhaps the singing cunnilingus scene is the best thing I have ever seen and I have simply succumbed — more viscerally than ever — to an Adam Driver performance because he is so good at acting in Annette that he convinced me he is repulsive.