Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The French Dispatch (2021) NYFF 2021

Q&A with Anjelica Fellini, Lois Smith, Bob Balaban, Léa Seydoux, and Jeffrey Wright (in person) and Wes Anderson & additional cast members (virtual)

THE FRNCH DISPATCH might be my favorite Wes Anderson film I’m still debating if I like THE AQUATIC LIFE OF STEVE ZISSOU more, but DISPATCH might edge it out. While AQUATIC LIFE is a solid single story, there is a maturity in DISPATCH that is surprising.

The film is a cinematic equivalent of an issue of the New Yorker like magazine The French Dispatch. Or perhaps it’s final issue since the film covers the death of the editor and founder of the magazine. We get an obit, a travel section and three stories. The first is on how a certain piece of art ended up in Kansas, the second is on a student rebellion and the third is the twisting tale of police chef that turns into a kidnapping drama. It’s a film full of stars and references so numerous that the film will need to be annotated.

The film is a joyous celebration of things literary, of life and of the movies. It’s a film that made be find respect for Timothée Chalamet who always seemed to be in films simply because he looked good. He’s so good that he lifts up the student revolt segment which is the least meaty section of the entire film.

I loved this film a great deal. I especially loved Jeffrey Wright’s James Baldwin inspired writer. The pain and heart break of his life bleeds through every moment of the story he tells thus giving it a deep resonance that we don’t normally see in Wes Anderson movies.  Frankly Wright is so good that he moved me to tears despite the admonishment that there is no crying.

Frankly  I need to see this film again because there is too much to take in.

This is a great film and is highly recommended

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