The Cannes opening night selection

The Cannes opening night selection brings outré director Leos Carax back to the festival for the first time since his formally adventurous “Holy Motors,” and almost a decade later, he remains a bold, surprising filmmaker whose work divides and excites audiences in equal measures. He’s also delivering his highest-profile effort to date, a peculiar rock opera composed by Sparks that stars a propulsive Adam Driver as a failing comedian and Marion Cotillard as his wife, and a wooden puppet as their titular puppet.

“Annette” divided audiences right on schedule, but those who took kindly to it responded to Carax’s moody surrealism, the constant energy of the soundtrack, and Driver’s utter commitment to a bonkers performance. Opening night films rarely win the Palme, in part because the jury is so far removed from them by the time vote arrives, and this wide range of reactions on this one make it an unlikely title to top the festival (even if some of the jurors undoubtedly took kindly to it).