The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch ★★★½

NYFF Film #1

The French Dispatch is undoubtedly Wes Anderson at his most West Anderson and my goodness what a gorgeous feast for the eyes this film is. Every frame is like a painting I would love to hang up on my bedroom wall and the cinematography work from Robert D. Yeoman is easily amongst the best of the entire year. The film is so visually vibrant that it is pretty impossible to ever take your eyes off the screen. As expected, Wes Anderson has assembled one of the most fun & lively ensemble cast you'll see this entire year. There's a lot of "blink and you might miss them" type of small roles, but we do get some standout turns from the likes of Benicio Del Toro, Adrian Brody, Timothee Chalamet and of course Bill Murray. I'm very tempted to say this might even be one of Anderson's funnier films yet as there are plenty of big laughs sprinkled throughout and the commitment that cast members bring even in limited screentime only adds to the pure fun. Unfortunately, I do have to admit I did feel a little bit of an emotional detachment to the film. I do like the anthology structure that Anderson goes for here, but the film is also so dense and he's throwing so much at the screen that it does become so overwhelming after a point. I found all these individual storylines to be quite entertaining, but as a whole I think I just wanted to get a little more. As it stands, this definitely isn't one of my favorite films from one of my favorite filmmakers by a long shot, but it's still a consistently enjoyable entry that any fan of his should absolutely seek out. Already looking forward to seeing how a second viewing of this will play out for me.

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