Wes Anderson brings his signature style to this delightful comedic anthology, paying homage to French New Wave and The New Yorker’s golden age journalists of the 50s and 60s.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
“It’s hard to imagine another living filmmaker with a style as instantly recognizable as Wes Anderson... So much has been made about the precise frames, the vibrant colors, and the deadpan delivery of Anderson’s work, but less about the substance beneath it. Anderson’s movies may be pretty, whimsical flights of fancy, but they also express genuine curiosity about the strange nature of human relations.
...This charming sketchbook of stories about American expatriates in France [is a] freewheeling three-part salute to old-school journalism in general and The New Yorker in particular, [which] works in fits and starts, swapping narrative cohesion for charming small doses of wit and wonder about odd people and places worth your time...
The French Dispatch closes with a dedication to everyone from William Shawn to James Baldwin and Lillian Ross, all treasured writers... whose work inspired the eccentric tales within. Molding elements of their work into his standard ironic cadences, Anderson explores topics as far-reaching as an imprisoned painter subjected to the absurdity of the art world, student revolutionaries in the sixties, and a convoluted kidnapping plot that involves both food porn and animation. The experience is akin to flipping through the eccentric pages of the publication in question, overwhelmed by the details streaming in.” — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
“[P]acked with inside jokes for audiences hip to the arts and culture scene of 1950s and ’60s New York and Paris... The French Dispatch is Anderson’s arms-wide-open tribute to a generation of complicated geniuses, so the winks come as dense and dizzying as guilty-pleasure movie references do in a Quentin Tarantino picture...” — Peter Debruge, Variety