The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch ★★★½

The French Dispatch isn’t as emotionally affective or as narratively strong as The Grand Budapest Hotel and Anderson’s best work, and it isn’t as whimsical or funny as Life Aquatic and Bottle Rocket, but I found it considerably less annoying than some of Anderson’s weaker work and it may be his most visually impressive film to date. 

This material and style is generally very foreseeable for Anderson and yet I was surprised by how much I wasn’t bothered by his quirks, I often find myself averse to his stylistic choices but here I was mostly just impressed with his impressive blend of different styles and use of colour. Anderson’s huge ensembles can sometimes be a bit jarring for me, having a-listers make cameos every five minutes can remove my engagement in the story but here everyone is cast perfectly and the performances are top notch despite the relatively thin characters. The structure is well devised and interesting, the film has a lot going on but it all feels complacent and understandable. As expected the score is impressive, the only thing holding the film back from hitting true highs is the thin and disposable characters.

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