I have been staring at this blank page for a good ten minutes trying to think of how I can do The French Dispatch justice. By now you have probably heard the terms “revolutionary” “masterpiece” and “amazing” thrown around in regards to this movie and it is worthy of all this high praise. I think that I would go as far as to say this is the best Wes Anderson movie to date!
How to Stream or Download The French Dispatch (2021)
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like Bill Murray, check him out also in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Lost in Translation.
The Movie Review
Talking about The French Dispatch in a small review like this is tough as there is a lot to unpack. This is a comedy anthology movie that is a nod to the classic days of print journalism, many of the stories and characters here are inspired by real events, but with a Wes Anderson twist on them.
The casting in this movie is insane! The French Dispatch features the most star-studded ensemble cast I think I have ever seen. Bill Murry, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffery Wright, Tilda Swinton, Timothy Chalamet, Adrien Brody, Stephen Park, and a ton more feature in this movie.
The way the story is presented is interesting as it is an anthology-style movie. We have the man in charge, Arthur Howitzer, Jr who tells us a bit about this magazine and we also have Herbsaint Sazerac who lets us in on the fictional place where the movie is set, it is a great way to start things off and it has that Wes Anderson charm.
The Concrete Masterpiece
The first part of the anthology is called The Concrete Masterpiece and here we have a story about an incredibly talented artist who also happens to be completely nuts! This is a fun one and features some of the best physical comedy in the entire movie. I think out of the three main stories I would probably rank this one second.
Revisions to a Manifesto
Next up is Revisions to a Manifesto and this is one that has some pretty deep issues alongside the comedy and it is the one that probably made me think the most. This is based on the student riots of May 68 and the way these riots just got more and more intense and dangerous. This is great stuff, but I would put this one in third place.
The Private Dining Room and the Police Commissioner
The third and final part of the main anthology is called, The Private Dining Room and the Police Commissioner. I liked the “talk show” aspect of this one and the basics of this are that it is about the kidnapping of the police commissioner’s son. This is my favorite of all the stories here and while it has that “Wes Anderson” aspect to it, I feel that this is the one he took the most risks with.
As you would expect from a movie with Wes Anderson’s name on it, The French Dispatch is a gorgeous-looking movie. The way that it mixes black and white with color is something that is very well done, you will have a black and white scene and then a burst of color. The whole aesthetic of the movie is something that I think makes it stand out completely from anything else that has been released over the last few years.
The Bottom Line
I am a fan of Wes Anderson’s work so I knew that I was probably going to like this movie. However, I was truly blown away and entertained from start to end by The French Dispatch. I legit cannot think of a single problem that I had with this movie and I am sure it is going to be a movie where the more I watch it, the more I like it!
- This is perhaps the best anthology-style movie I have ever seen
- It has a cast that could not be any more stacked with talent
- Each of the stories that are told here are very entertaining
- I loved the way the movie looked
- It might be a tad “artsy” for some people
- I hand on heart cannot think of another criticism to throw at this movie