The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch ★★★★

No crying.

Purely in terms of film form it's far too dense to untangle after one pass. But its asides, diversions, and brief moments of editorial comment are sticking with me most. He may be the most ornate stylist of his generation, but Anderson's admirers know the meaning of his work is often found in simple, relatively unadorned declaration ("I've had a rough year, Dad."). This, his tenth film and first to gesture toward a "late" style, is no different. A new sense of abstraction enters in the cutting rhythms and in the framing of the more intimate character scenes. Anderson's storybook universe is at a precipice, admiring of life's beauty but with a greater awareness of the abyss that lies beyond.

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