To find out your opinion on the Wes Anderson new movie, click here French DispatchTake the following description as an example: The film’s opening minutes are filled with what amounts to “a” humor. Monologue and slideshow about the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (yep), delivered by a character named Herbsaint Sazerac (double yep), a magazine correspondent who wears a muddy brown turtleneck and a dark beret (for those keeping track, we have now achieved a rare triple yep)—and who is played with winsome, deadpan earnestness by a bicycle-riding Owen Wilson. (I’m sorry, but I am out.
This will be too ironic and twee for some. For others, it will sound twee and ironic in precisely the right proportions, because it will sound…well, like a Wes Anderson movie.
Anderson has been making movies like this—fussy, imaginative, self-contained, whimsical, and aggressively, almost absurdly, symmetrical—for a quarter-century now, to the annoyance of some and the delight of many. Anderson’s work is a delight to me. I find his movies amusing, fascinating and even moving. Anderson, And French DispatchAnderson at his finest. Anderson at his best. The New YorkerThis clockwork masterpiece is a marvel of intricate imagery, periphrastic words and complex timing. Just as a Swiss watch justifies itself on the elegant complexity of its time-keeping movement, Anderson’s film justifies its existence on its stylistic brio alone: It’s different to think of another picture so meticulous, so finicky, so dense with detail and winking, knowing reference—except perhaps another Wes Anderson movie.
Anderson’s trademark tics are evident in this movie, perhaps more so than any of his previous movies. Every frame is meticulously composed and filled with detail. Anderson has created a mix of dry humor and wryly sentimental comedy. Sometimes the film explodes into animated, lively sequences. This reinforces the feeling that Anderson is creating a comic world.
Anderson has been criticised for making movies that are too focused on aesthetics. Anderson can sometimes feel like Anderson is trying to make a movie about himself, rather than using his over-tweeted, meticulous sensibility as a tool for something greater. Anderson’s thematic focus has expanded over the years, moving away from dramas involving difficult families and towards larger themes of human rights. Autoritarianism Cultural acceptanceHe continues digging deeper in his treasure chest of stylistic tricks.
In this instance, it’s even more obvious: French Dispatch This is about human longing for freedom and artistic expression, as well the unexpected places where the search for meaning leads us.
These ideas are incorporated into the title of the magazine, which is both the film’s full-length title and periodical subject. The French Dispatch of the Liberty in Kansas. Evening SunIt’s a Sunday Supplement, and Arthur Howitzer Jr. modeled the advice into the only piece that the Dispatch editor gave. New Yorker Harold Ross is the founding editorBill Murray plays the role. His advice to writers is: “Just pretend you made it this way intentionally.”
It’s not just about the movie. AboutA magazine. It looks like one. The magazine has an obit, Sazerac’s short travelogue and three features. Each feature is an extended vignette, as told by the writer. First, there is a prisoner named Benicio Del Toro who is an artist and is not interested in producing a product commercially. Second is a leader of student protests who plays chess.Timothée ChalametA child is saved by Stephen Park’s culinary skills when he falls in love with Frances McDormand (an older journalist).
And thus each of the features reflects on the nature of art and freedom, expression and repression: The first raises questions about an artist who has literally lost his liberty, the second about the difficulties of both political revolution and journalistic neutrality, the third about the power of both writing and a well-made creation—a meal, in this case—to right social and individual wrongs. The desire to make is what makes us human. It’s the need to combine our obsessions, fears, needs, and terrors in a formal vehicle that allows for expression. The majority of features are displayed in black and white. They are briefly made into colors by the movie, but only for a handful of rare artistic moments. The world can be brightened by the art of painting.
Wes Anderson made the movie to, in some ways, justify Anderson films. It is also an effort to make Anderson’s justification universally accessible, so that viewers can share the film with Anderson rather than keep it for himself. We are all trapped between liberty and ennui, the movie seems to say, all imprisoned by our desires and our circumstances—and so we must make do as best we can. You can make it appear that you did this intentionally.