To experience a Wes Anderson film is to be immersed in a cinematic space—rich in detail—of the Oscar-nominated director’s own design. And in the case of The French Dispatch, the audience is transported to the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, France, via the pages of The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun.
The French Dispatch, which closed out this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 17, is nothing short of a marvel as Anderson’s love and admiration for journalism—especially, The New Yorker—and French cinema comes alive on the big screen.
The film, which runs just shy of two hours, is quite the star-studded affair. The cast boasts Anderson alumni, including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, and newcomers Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, and Stephen Park.
Presented as three long-form feature stories—“The Concrete Masterpiece” by writer J.K.L. Berenson (Swinton), “Revisions to a Manifesto” by writer Lucinda Krementz (McDormand), and “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner” by writer Roebuck Wright (Wright)—this remarkable group of actors infuse Anderson’s distinct brand of visual storytelling with warmth and humor.
The film had its world premiere this past July at the Festival de Cannes 2021, and Park, like his character, Lt. Nescaffier, has since found himself tasting a new flavor.
“Being in this movie, going to these festivals; these are all new flavors to me,” he told me on behalf of Art U News during the film’s San Francisco press tour. “I’m just trying to savor everything—every moment of it.”