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The French Dispatch review: a love letter to journalists

The poster for the film, The French Dispatch. Image source- Pintrest, IMDb.
The poster for the film, The French Dispatch. Image source- Pintrest, IMDb.
A still from the film, The French Dispatch. Image source- Pinterest,

Unsettlingly perfect, fast-paced, absurdist, beautifully weird: The French Dispatch is described as a love letter to journalists, and I’ll add a blatant attempt at seduction.  

 Set in the fictional town of Ennui, the movie is presented as a collection of short stories; following the devoted journalists of The French Dispatch as they compile the final issue of the magazine. 

The first story is of Moses Rosenthaler (Benicio Del Toro), who is serving a life sentence for murder and is also a talented painter. Wrapped in romantic involvement with his promoter, muse, and prison guard, Simone (Lea Seydoux), Rosenthaler is portrayed as a father to the abstract modernist movement. He is represented artistically by Julian Cadazio (Adrien Brody), who works persistently to get Rosenthaler’s work out into the world, by whatever means necessary  

CANNES, FRANCE – JULY 13: The cast of French Dispatch poses together. (Photo by Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

The second story follows a youth revolution led by the melancholic and fickle Zeffirelli (Timothee Chalamet). The intimate coverage conducted by reporter Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand) unveils the movements intention poetically, but not without sacrificing Krementz’s journalistic objectivity. 

The third story tells the tale of a father’s relentless pursuit of his kidnapped son. Reporter Roebuck Wright (Jefferey Wright) guides the viewer through the story by means of talk show interview, recounting the miraculous acts of the department with the help of the gifted chief, Nescaffier (Steve Park).  

Andersons’ signature cinematic touch engrosses the viewer into his world of symmetry and nostalgia.  The film itself feels as if you’re walking through a majestically intentional pop-up book. Each still tells a story through placement, color, and expression.  

The soundtrack of the film composed by Alexandre Desplat, brings whimsical chaos exemplifying the upbeat nature of a journalist’s lifestyle in true, quirky Anderson fashion.  

As a young journalist myself, The French Dispatch (an ode to the New Yorker), is deliberately inspiring. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head and slowly mumble “What the fuck?”  

The movie’s release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the result was well worth the wait. The French Dispatch is an instant gem of the Wes Anderson collection. As of October 22, 2021, you can now find it in select theaters.   

The poster for the film, The French Dispatch. Image source- Pinterest, IMDb.
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