The first thing I’ll say is, if you’re not a fan of Wes Anderson’s previous
films then his latest, The French Dispatch, probably won’t change your
opinion of the director. With its rambling trio of stories and Anderson’s
usual choice of changing aspect ratios The French Dispatch must be the
director’s least commercial film to date.
Set in the offices of fictional Kansas Evening Sun newspaper called The
French Dispatch the film is made up of three stories, supposedly taken from
said newspaper. The first, and probably the best of the trio, or at least
the one that makes the most sense, sees Tilda Swinton’s character narrating
a tale about a criminally insane convicted murderer (Benicio del Toro),
who, whilst in prison, becomes a world renowned artist.
The second tells a tale of student protests, Frances Mc Dormand and
Timothee Chalamet turn up in this middle section whilst the final act
involves Jeffrey Hunter in a tale about food reviews and bank heists.
As always with Wes Anderson’s films The French Dispatch is beautiful to
look at but unfortunately beautiful images don’t always make for an
interesting film and this is the case with The French Dispatch. Confusing
stories and what at times appears to be a little over self-indulgence on
the part of the director makes The French Dispatch a hard watch and I
imagine that might also be the case for even the most avid Anderson fans.