OVERVIEW | This film will be the least digestible piece in his catalog for the general public. I have a feeling that you will either love this film or your eyes will roll into the back of your head in a scoff. For the Wes Anderson faithful out there, this will probably be one of your favorite films of the year.
Comedy, Romance, Drama
October 22, 2021
The French Dispatch Movie Review | Arriving with his most quirky picture to date, The French Dispatch (2021) is the most Wes Anderson film in his catalog. We follow several individual stories, told from the perspective of journalists working at an American newspaper, nestled in a fictional French city. Through the lens of the publication process, we follow 3 individual stories told from the perspective of the characters. We follow stories told by J.K.L. Berensen (Tilda Swinton), Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand), and Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright). The articles each focus on a specific theme for the newspaper: Art, Politics, and Food—each revolving around the human experiences of these unique tales.
As a Wes Anderson fan boy, I absolutely adored this film and all of its highly curated zaniness. Being one of the most unique film makers of all time, Anderson delivers a meticulously stylized experience that only he could produce. Anderson’s design and style permeates every aspect of the film from the wardrobe, to the set design, the music, the dialogue, and the pacing. Almost every single frame in The French Dispatch could be a piece of art that one would hang on their walls. It’s an absolutely gorgeous film to look at and I was extremely impressed with all of the Anderson-ness that it contains. A particularly unique aspect of this film, compared to the rest of his catalog, is that the entire film (excluding a few brief scenes) is all delivered in a 4:3 aspect ratio.This choice imparts a classical film element to the experience, where it feels like you’re watching a picture that was made 50 years ago.
The French Dispatch Movie Review
The dialogue in this film is extremely complicated. I can imagine that the feeling and delivery of the intricate lines required the best of the best to communicate Wes’ vision properly. The French Dispatch is undeniably stacked to the brim with top tier talent on screen. The cast includes: Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Léa Seydoux, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, to name a few. We will always have the Wes Anderson repeats that he tends to include in almost all of his films, but I was surprised by how many great actors he was able to hire for this unique tale.
I have a feeling a lot of the discussion surrounding this film will be, “what is your favorite article out of the three?” For me, the story told through the voice of J.K.L. Berensen, “The Concrete Masterpiece” was the one I most connected with. Adrien Brody and Benicio del Toro surrender fully to their quirky characters and carve out a wonderfully fun experience. This specific piece, narrated by the always impressive Tilda Swinton, is a beautiful and funny metaphor about the passion of discovery and the lengths people will go to experience something new. The use of color in this particular story to convey beauty and awe is sensational. Most of this part of the film is presented to the audience in black and white, but there are occasional glimpses of color that shock the brain and create a sense of magic with each frame. Wes Anderson has become a master of design with his repertoire of beautiful films, and I feel like The French Dispatch is taken to a supreme level.
This film will be the least digestible piece in his catalog for the general public. I have a feeling that you will either love this film or your eyes will roll into the back of your head in a scoff. For the Wes Anderson faithful out there, this will probably be one of your favorite films of the year. For the people who can’t stand Anderson’s quirky style, this will be a painful experience. Anderson takes all of the high brow oddities of all of his films, and builds a four course dinner out of the ingredients. The French Dispatch is highly curated for the fans with an appetite for extreme eccentricities.
This is 100% a film that needs to be seen on the big screen. Do yourself a favor and see this in the cinema to receive the full Anderson experience. | The French Dispatch Movie Review