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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: October 22nd, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

The French Dispatch - Theatrical Review

Overview -

Wes Anderson's tenth film is a vision of an anthology movie through a series of vignettes that all collide in his usual, unique style of wonderful and whimsical visuals, oddball comedy, and quirky characters in The French Dispatch. Following a team of journalists for a rural newspaper, this all-star cast tells three different stories that are to be written about in the final issue of The French Dispatch newspaper. The strange and hilarious dry peaks of dialogue and dead-panned delivery by its zany characters are ever-present here. This is a wonderfully written and performed piece of cinema that mixes several mediums of art into one. For those that don't dig Wes Anderson films, The French Dispatch won't do any favors for the excitement, but for those who enjoy his outings, this anthology of magical characters and events is completely satisfying and funny. Highly Recommended! 

Now in select theaters - Order Your Tickets on Fandango! 


Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 22nd, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Wes Anderson has come a long way since Bottle Rocket. From there, the Texas filmmaker has created a Wes Anderson universe of movies, full of weird, yet iconic characters that people still talk about and dress up as. Anderson's style went from New England to Paris, France where there is still the love of a bygone romantic era in his movies. The French Dispatch is no different, where this time, he takes the normal narrative of a live-action or animated movie and combines all those elements into a few different stories told by these characters that work for a newspaper out of rural Kansas. And it all works perfectly in a flawless Wes Anderson form. 

The film is separated into three segments that are bookended with the employees of the French Dispatch newspaper discussing their town, their work, and lives. After the journalists' introductions, the first story tackles the true-life story titled "The Days Of Duveen", which was a six-part story in the New Yorker about an art dealer named Lord Duveen. In Anderson's film, this Lord Duveen is entranced by the art of a convicted double murderer who paints in prison. This art dealer convinces this inmate to paint in order to have his rich clients pay a fortune for them, which all ends in a hilarious uproar by the end of the story. Love, art, acceptance, and romance are all big factors here and mix some great dark humor of the judicial system in with the art world.

The second story deals with the true story of 1968 student occupation protests that was featured in The New Yorker titled "The Events In May: A Paris Notebook". This story has an older journalist that takes up residence with a young student who leads the protests against the government that ends in new love, a violent war, and a fun chess game. The taboo subjects of a wide age-gap romance, along with a journalist not staying neutral to the writing are pitch-perfect here.

And the third story comes from a wealthy man whose young son is kidnapped by a gang of violent criminals, but always uses a significant and impressive chef to cook food on big occasions. A big chase sequence, run-ins with law enforcement, and cooking exquisite meals are all on display in this segment, which has this particular journalist writing about a myriad of elements from otherwordly food to gunfights in a city with a pro-wrestler. 

Anderson mixes black and white flashbacks with full-on color sequences that amaze the eyeballs with Anderson's iconic color palette. Additionally, Anderson adds in some animated sequences, motion comic scenes, and live-stage play sequences to tell these stories, making it all a cavalcade of art and telling a story. It's truly remarkable. While making and telling these unusual, yet energetic stories, Anderson never loses focus on his love for journalists and their writing, as he always makes sure that the head editor of the French Dispatch tells his journalists to write what they want and the way they want to tell it - something that is all too missing these days in many publications who just want a headline for clickbait. It's a poetic tale of what goes on behind the scenes to get the citizens of the world the news and to read interesting and poignant stories, no matter if it's about crime, art, food, or sports - and all with Wes Anderson's stamp on it. 


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

The list of actors is mesmerizing as by now when Wes Anderson wants somebody for their film, the answer is usually a big "yes". The likes of 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, Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, Jason Schwartzman, and Willem Dafoe are all part of the film. Some of these actors only have a minute or two of screen time, but their effect is grande and are all mostly award-worthy performances. Frequent Anderson collaborators like cinematographer Robert Yeoman and composer Alexandre Desplat all return to make this film look and sound like the perfect Wes Anderson movie. The French Dispatch is chock full of quirkiness, comedy, romance, and stunning visuals - all about a love for journalism. Highly Recommended!

Now in select theaters - Order Your Tickets on Fandango!