Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The French Dispatch - Movie Review

The Movie: The French Dispatch

The Director: Wes Anderson

The Cast: Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson

The Story: A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in "The French Dispatch Magazine".

The Review:
Full disclosure. I have not liked any of director Wes Anderson's movies. He has a very unique filmmaking style that apparently just doesn't work for me and believe me, I have honestly tried to see what the appeal is. I'm always willing to give a new movie a try so I was at least hopeful this The French Dispatch, especially given the tremendous casting, might swing the other direction for me.


This movie reinforced, emphasized, and exaggerated everything that doesn't work for me and that I do not like about Wes Anderson movies. The movie can best be described as the paramount of pretentious cinema and is about as unrelatable as anything I have ever seen. There is an arrogance to the narrative that suggests the whole thing is an inside joke and we're not in on it. There is an indulgent indifference in the storytelling that is such a disconnect that I'm surprised so many of the actors involved would want to be a part of it.

I will say this. I kind of enjoyed the performances by Benicio del Toro and Léa Seydoux, the characters they portray and the interactions they have break through the over the top pomp and circumstance just enough to be noticeable if not actually likable. Also, the movie looks stunningly gorgeous and every frame of film looks meticulously crafted with no detail left to chance, but man what a waste.

The Verdict:
The French Dispatch is a pretentious piece of over indulgent cinema. If that's your thing, enjoy.

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