By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

As Wes Anderson has developed and honed his signature style of filmmaking and story-telling, it has become increasingly apparent that the director has much love and respect for French cinema, art and pop-culture. Some of his musical choices, his desired cinematography, his use of colors, as well as the way he presents his character all reveal the influence that the art and culture of France has had on his films. This style proves to be absolutely perfect when it comes to his latest film, The French Dispatch. In this movie, Anderson pays tribute to the world of Journalism, but does so in the way that his fans already know and love. The result is a delightful comedy, that has wonderful visuals and artistry that honor, celebrate, and have lots of fun with the setting of France.

Inspired by the magazine The New Yorker, Anderson offers a fictionalized take on the magazine and the people that helped make that magazine special. The movie gives its audience a highly stylized and comedic glimpse into the workings of an American magazine stationed in a fictional French city. Not only does Anderson and his co-writers take us behind the scenes of the periodical, but also brings segments of the magazine to life. In three vignettes, the movie tells the stories of an eccentric artist in prison, student revolutionaries wanting to make a difference, and the adventures surrounding a food journalist’s desire to partake in the delectable delights of a police commissioner’s chef.

Anderson definitely has a style that audiences either love and appreciate, or simply despise and don’t understand. So it should go without saying, that fans of his movies will absolutely love this film, and the others should probably just stay away. As for myself, I absolutely love this movie, and probably like it more than his last three entries. Co-writing the script Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness and Jason Schwartzman proves to be a winning formula for this wonderful movie. Ever single segment/vignette has something special to offer when it comes to quirky comedy and lovable characters. Even my least favorite segment (Revisions to a Manifesto), which involves a political protest by college students, is still entertaining and enjoyable.

The real treat for me is beholding the artistry that is Wes Anderson’s visual style. Working with his usual cinematographer, Robert Yeoman, Anderson gives us segments with a rich palette of colors in addition to a lovely use of black and white footage. The production design, costumes and editing are all so immaculate that the film offers a gorgeous and fulfilling feast for the eyes.

The incredible and immense cast all perform outstandingly. It was awesome to see Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe and Frances McDormand return and shine as brightly as ever. It was also a real delight to see newcomers such as Benicio Del Toro, Lea Seydoux, Henry Winkler, Elisabeth Moss, Lyna Khoudri, Christoph Waltz, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Almaric, Stephen Park, and Saorise Ronan fit in wonderfully in Anderson’s playground.

As I previously stated, The French Dispatch is a signature Wes Anderson movie that his fans and admirers is sure to eat up and enjoy deliciously. For those familiar with his style and not fans, this is definitely one to avoid. As for anyone not at all familiar with the movies of Wes Anderson, I double dog dare you to give this one a try. If absolute sold and in love with Anderson’s way of presenting cinema, then I absolutely urge you to immerse yourself in his complete filmmography.

Leave Your Comments

Share This