The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch ★★★★

As someone who generally hates Wes Anderson’s more stylised films (Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr Fox) and appreciates his at least slightly more grounded offerings (Life Aquatic, Moonrise Kingdom, Darjeeling Limited), I was absolutely shocked to love this one. For the first time I thought the super heightened aesthetic informed the story and didn’t just feel like a choice made to invite screenshotting and best cinematography nominations. Maybe that’s me being harsh on other films of his but this is the first that I truly don’t think could have been made any other way. The presentation and dialogue, with all its attention to minute detail, really did make you feel like you were watching a visual representation of a newspaper article. The humour, particularly the visual humour in the first short, is Anderson at his best as well. The final short lost me a bit and felt a little incoherent, but the previous two are a joy. I hate calling films love letters, but this is really just an ode to storytelling and storytellers and that I really did love.