Whenever you indulge in a Wes Anderson film, you feel like you’ve truly witnessed a work of art. And his latest project is no exception.
The French Dispatch brings together a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine that publishes in a fictional 20th-century French City. It’s as if you’re watching a collection of short films – all notably different, yet related through Wes Anderson’s lens.
Take a look at the trailer below.
The French Dispatch Movie Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like
Let me start by saying, if you’re not a fan of Wes Anderson, this movie isn’t going to change that. You either love his films, or you’re not a fan. For me, I’ve always been a fan.
There are two things that I distinctly love about every Anderson film, the visuals and the dialogue. Anderson has a specific style, like a Slim Aarons’ photograph that comes to life with the most unique and odd characters you’ve ever met. And both of these elements remain strong for this latest film.
With The French Dispatch, it almost feels that Anderson has broken free. While his films are always deliciously vivid with an indie feel, this film somehow feels different. As the audience flows from story to story, you can’t help but feel like you’re on a journey where your experience is more important than your destination.
The film is broken into multiple parts, with each writer telling a different story about the city Ennui, where the film is set. From politics to art to culture and cuisine (with a side of kidnapping), each story weaves together the final issue of the French Dispatch before the death of its editor, played by Bill Murry,
The script is delightfully complex. In fact, almost too complicated to follow in parts. Flowing from English to French, the fast-paced banter made me want to hit rewind multiple times to understand everything I was seeing and reading fully, but as I saw this on the big screen, that wasn’t an option.
A number of the subtitles flowed on screen in a uniquely un-even way, which added to the difficultly of keeping up. But despite my issues with the visual pacing, I found myself memorized by what felt like a true love letter to the written word. The script is truly a work of art.
Just like every Anderson film, it feels like there are 1,000 recognizable faces on the screen. The film stars Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Steve Park, Liev Schreiber, Elisabeth Moss, Edward Norton, and about 20 other fantastic actors.
Some roles are nothing more than a cameo, whereas others are truly memorable with their dry humor and witty one-liners. Regardless of their own screen time, every actor and actress here brings their A-game to the intricacies of their character.
The French Dispatch is a visually stunning film that pays homage to journalism, French culture, and the elegance of The New Yorker magazine. It’s a work of art that takes you on an adventure into an imaginative and vibrant world. It’s a breath of fresh air for 2021 cinema.
Overall, it’s delightful and quirky, but its fan base will be as narrow as Anderson’s previous works, which makes it feel all the more like the art-house film that it is.
The French Dispatch releases in theaters on October 29, 2021.
The French Dispatch Movie Review:
Grade: A-Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in