The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch ★★½

Like an AI was prompted to produce a film by Godard if he was a New Yorker cartoonist who watched too many American sit coms.

Not nearly as funny as it aims to be, nor as his previous few films, though not without a couple good gags both verbal and visual (for me, mostly located in its first art-world satirizing chapter). Despite possibly the most virtuosic display of his trademark Rube Goldbergian graphical musicality, this one was far too consumed by its own cleverness to resonate - even in his indie-comic Bressonian way - on any meaningful emotional level, which just left it too detached from anything beyond its easy satire/middle-brow genre pastiche. Admirable on that level, but too much pretentious jibber jabber and a lack of heart bordering on nihilism to seem like anything but a step backwards for ol' Wes - perhaps, you might say, a slip from the meta- back to more empty post-modernism.

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