The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch ★★★★½

Wes Anderdon's work consistently explores a unique frame to set up and tell the stories that unfold on screen. The French Dispatch takes this to new heights, through shifting storytellers, eras, and mediums to display the stories held within an edition of the fictitious magazine for which it is so named. Not only is this style creative, it is simply enjoyable to behold.

I laughed throughout the entire runtime, every few minutes. The crowd helped with that, as chuckles and outbursts trickled through the crowd nearly constantly.

The French Dispatch is also Anderson's style so well worn, it feels like it couldn't exist without its director's quirks, which he does seem to indulge further as he progresses. All the stylistic choices seem to fortify the story, the frame, the character being presented.

The writing of the film is masterclass, with so many bits of comedy and double entendres that I imagine only becomes more evident in future viewings. It really feels like a visualization of a written medium. The French Dispatch delivers so much story that it almost feels like we're granted Anderson's 11th and 12th films alongside his 10th. The characters, some of which only get to speak a few lines due to how massive the cast is, all have their own flavor, which I really appreciated.

The shifting colors and tones of the film helped to ground it in its frame - whether in reference to time/era, or editorial in nature. The animation sequences were done so beautifully, despite playing a largely comedic role in the movie.

I would be remiss to avoid mentioning that Wes Anderson films have contributed largely to the person I am today; musically, aesthetically, humor. I was surprised when I walked out of this film with a notion that it was only second to Grand Budapest, upon a first viewing. I reserve my right to change my mind in either direction in future viewings, but it's just such a fun time.

Suffice to say, The French Dispatch is worth your time, and if you're so inclined to see it in theaters, I'd highly recommend the experience.

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