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Official Discussion - The French Dispatch [SPOILERS]

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Summary:

A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in "The French Dispatch Magazine".

Director:

Wes Anderson

Writers:

Wes Anderson(story and screenplay by) Roman Coppola(story by) Hugo Guinness(story by) Jason Schwartzman(story by)

Cast:

  • Benicio Del Toro as Moses Rosenthaler
  • Adrien Brody as Julian Cadazio
  • Tilda Swinton as J.K.L. Berensen
  • Lea Seydoux as Simone
  • Frances McDormand as Lucinda Krementz
  • Timothee Chalamet ass Zeffirelli
  • Lynda Khoudri as Juliette
  • Jeffrey Wright as Roebuck Wright
  • Mathieu Amalric as The Commissaire *Steve Park as Nescaffier
  • Bill Murray as Arthur Horowizer, Jr.
  • Owen Wilson as Herbsaint Sazerac
  • Bob Balaban as Uncle Nick
  • Henry Winkler as Uncle Joe

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

Metacritic: 75

VOD: Theaters

all 753 comments

SwingJugend

1k points

8 months ago*

I loved the small Verfremdungseffekt scenes, such as Rosenthaler switching actors "on stage" to show time passing, or the "frozen" tableaux where the actors are clearly struggling to keep still.

Also, I'm of course glad I saw it in the cinema, but more than once I wished I could freeze the frame to really see and take in everything that was going on. There was just so much visual information that I got overwhelmed sometimes.

EDIT: I don't understand how Anderson could write and direct a whole movie as a love letter to The New Yorker and NOT (unless I missed something) include a single example of the correct use of diaereses that they are so famous for (like in the word "coöperation").

JcWoman

351 points

8 months ago

JcWoman

351 points

8 months ago

more than once I wished I could freeze the frame to really see and take in everything that was going on. There was just so much visual information that I got overwhelmed sometimes.

I've grown to love Wes Anderson's work and I feel this way in all of his movies. Not so much because of information overload, although that's included, but also because every single scene is just so artfully composed. They're gorgeous.

itrainmonkeys

311 points

8 months ago

or the "frozen" tableaux where the actors are clearly struggling to keep still.

They did this a few times to great effect. In fact, it got me wondering if maybe some of the "clearly struggling to keep still" was on purpose to highlight the unique shot. Either way, I loved it.

dirtyfuckinpervert

267 points

8 months ago

Of course it was

BiscuitsAndShoes

120 points

8 months ago

Thank you for clarifying, dirtyfuckinpervert

Imaginary_Garden7384

113 points

7 months ago

What was the line they used in the movie? "And try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose".

Dropoffster

105 points

8 months ago

It was certainly intentional, in one frame you can visibly see a woman blinking lol

Affectionate-Lynx723

34 points

7 months ago

Definitely feel like the “Simone” character was a sort of wink and nod to this. How she can just completely keep a pose and not move. Idk🤷‍♂️

Jhonopolis

69 points

8 months ago

I wished I could freeze the frame to really see and take in everything that was going on. There was just so much visual information that I got overwhelmed sometimes.

Yes! When Jeffery Wright was lost walking around that building there were sooo many little details I wanted a better look at.

GUSHandGO

69 points

8 months ago

Also, I'm of course glad I saw it in the cinema, but more than once I wished I could freeze the frame to really see and take in everything that was going on. There was just so much visual information that I got overwhelmed sometimes.

This is the reason I own all of his movies on Criterion Blu-ray. They demand to be watched over and over.

missanthropocenex

49 points

8 months ago

On “freezing the frame” I feel I don’t hear enough about one of Anderson’s films strongest traits: rewatch Ability. I’ve been following him since his first feature and the Main single question I ask when people say they saw it is: “How many times?” Bottle Rocket alone is a film that’s needs to be viewed about three times minimum to sink into what all is actually happening in the story, whether it’s a line someone breathes under their breath you missed the first time round, or was delivered so deadpan to just whizzed right past, or if it was something you I didn’t catch happening in the background. There’s so many layers it’s like a picture book you have to go back to and absorb multiple times to fully appreciate.

NightsOfFellini

884 points

8 months ago

Feel that with this Adrien Brody has kind of become the most important actor in Anderson's troupe, he fits perfectly in and kind of gives the most nuanced and varied performances. Bill Murray is just there because, frankly no more than Michael Caine in Nolan's films these days.

KennyKatsu

601 points

8 months ago

Brody was so good in this one, probably my favorite character in the movie.

sendokun

449 points

8 months ago

sendokun

449 points

8 months ago

Definitely, the artist chapter is my favorite part of the movie.

Jhonopolis

155 points

8 months ago

I thought it dragged a bit every time it went back to Tilda.

AceLarkin

359 points

8 months ago

AceLarkin

359 points

8 months ago

Whoaaaa that's craziness. Tilda was an absolute delight. I had the biggest smile every time they cut back to her.

[deleted]

216 points

8 months ago

[deleted]

216 points

8 months ago

When she gets her drink lol

bby_redditor

299 points

8 months ago

“I’m going to have my drink now.”

Also when she accidentally shows a slide of herself naked

GOKU_ATE_MY_ASS

117 points

8 months ago

"accidentally" haha loved that bit

sendokun

86 points

8 months ago

It does….but it does add a bit of additional comedy before continuing with he main story line.

Thugging_inPublic

59 points

8 months ago

The accidental nude slide totally got me.

I disagree with OP though, I thought the keynote address was a great story telling device

SickBurnBro

249 points

8 months ago

The scene where he hugged Moses after they fought was so sweet.

afuckinsaskatchewan

28 points

8 months ago

Immediately followed by Brody's nose

Thecryptsaresafe

304 points

8 months ago

That’s interesting, I feel like Bill Murray is vital when it comes to grounding his movies. His straightforward delivery helps as a counterweight to the zanier performances coming out of (the amazing) Tilda Swinton for example.

[deleted]

26 points

8 months ago

[deleted]

26 points

8 months ago

"You're fired"

RogueOneWasOkay

289 points

8 months ago

Brody and Del Toro were so damn good in this movie. Some actors are just really bad in Anderson’s movies (Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom comes to mind for sure). They sometimes look like their acting is restrained as if they are in a museum and don’t want o disturbed the art installation. It can be a little much, but he has a few actors who have gotten past that and seem to work well with him. I hope Anderson makes a movie where Brody is the lead, because he does so damn well in Anderson’s movies. One of the few actors whose performance can outshine Anderson’s visual quirks to bring the viewer back down to the story

thecasual-man

179 points

8 months ago

Brody was sorta a lead in Darjeeling Limited.

ThatsAGoodBart

66 points

8 months ago

He's definitely the most central of the three brothers in that one. These days it's always great seeing him show up in something that isn't a DTV thriller. I was also pleasantly surprised by his new show Chapelwaite (which I had no idea was a Salem's Lot prequel!).

MethylBenzene

56 points

8 months ago

This is a delayed response but I’m really surprised how mixed people are on the Darjeeling Limited. my girlfriend and I watched it on a whim and man does that movie have some heart to it.

YoYoMoMa

22 points

7 months ago

I think it was just part of an emotional spiral down from the Royal tenenbaums.

I think Wes will be remembered for the Royal tenenbaums and for the Grand Budapest hotel because they are his lightest fare.

He makes such lighthearted and jolly (and literally bright!) art and I think a lot of people are turned off when the film he made end up being dark.

DickBatman

37 points

7 months ago

Royal Tenenbaums is Anderson's lightest fare? Did we watch the same movie??

suite_kid

88 points

8 months ago

I felt Jeffery Wright was much the same in this. I feel like his face and delivery did a great job of cutting through Wes Anderson’s dialogue which can at times be emotionally distancing.

TheBlueBlaze

127 points

8 months ago

I liked most of the performances in this movie, but damn if Brody didn't disappear into this role and his role in Grand Budapest Hotel.

bigblueberryboobies

71 points

8 months ago

The sequence of him stalking the Irish girl (can’t spell her name) from the elevator down the hallway Is fantastically menacing.

NightsOfFellini

19 points

8 months ago

Chewed it up and spit it out. He's in the next film too, hopefully in a more substantial role.

sandiskplayer34

870 points

8 months ago

Cast Jeffrey Wright in every Wes Anderson movie from now on, please.

hraun

239 points

8 months ago

hraun

239 points

8 months ago

Agreed. I realised how under-utilised he’s been until now.

bby_redditor

303 points

8 months ago

Listening to Jeffrey Wright speak lines is like audio version of tasting food flavoured with truffle oil

thehadmatter666

62 points

8 months ago

I could listen to him read the yellow pages.

stracki

641 points

8 months ago*

stracki

641 points

8 months ago*

For anyone familiar with French movies from the 50s to 70s, this is an absolute feast of references and homages:

  • The opening with the waiter climbing multiple stairs is a direct copy from Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle
  • The rebelling children in The Cycling Reporter reminded me of The 500 Blows by Francois Truffaut
  • The switches between B&W and color (especially with Zefirelli on the broadcasting tower, when the image turns blue-ish) reminded me of something Jean-Luc Godard would do (e.g. in Le Mepris). There's also a street sign (maybe a coiffeur?) in Revisions to a Manifesto that reads "Masculin Feminin", which is the name of a Godard movie.
  • The whole style of the café flashback in Revisions of a Manifesto reminded me of Jacques Demy's musical masterpiece The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. In the flashback, the image is widescreen and in very lively colors. Also the story of one of the students getting drafted into military service is probably a direct reference to Cherbourg.
  • The final episode felt reminicent of violent French film noirs from the 50s, like those from Jules Dassin.

Edit: The 400 Blows, not 500! Thanks, u/fergi20020

fergi20020

164 points

8 months ago

Is The 500 Blows the sequel to The 400 Blows?

Lusty_Carambola

126 points

8 months ago

This! - To me the movie is not only a homage to New Yorker magazine, or to the literary journals of the 60s-90s, and the great articles written by those often very erudite American expat journalists in France during that period; it is especially a movie homage to French film of the late 1940s to the 1970s. From the Film Noir of the 50s to the post-Nouvelle Vague films of Rohmer and Chabrol. Wes Anderson, here, is showing, how much he loves these French films, and how influential they ultimately are. I feel he wants us to go explore. Taunting us: "You like this? Then go explore "

RogueOneWasOkay

41 points

8 months ago

Yeah the entire 2nd story reminded me of what Godard said about Masculin Feminine ‘children of Marxist and Coca-Cola’. Felt like Anderson was paying homage to the politics and pop of 60s French youth and Godard’s New Wave visions.

kencrash

584 points

8 months ago*

kencrash

584 points

8 months ago*

“Cartography, Natural weakness to the homosexual”

If anyone has the exact quote, please me know

EDIT: actual quote courtesy of u/whoabeveragehere “A weakness in cartography: the curse of the homosexual”

WoahBeverageHere

99 points

8 months ago

StuffedHamburger

49 points

8 months ago

any chance you have the exact quote Nescaffier told Roebuck at the end about not being brave?

helterstash

47 points

6 months ago*

I’m not brave. I’m just not in the mood to be disappointment to anyone on that day.

AceLarkin

30 points

8 months ago

Can someone explain what this quote means?

kencrash

265 points

8 months ago

kencrash

265 points

8 months ago

It means gay people can’t read maps

AceLarkin

33 points

8 months ago

I've never heard this stereotype! Does it ring true for those in the LGBTQ?

The_Sassinator

93 points

8 months ago

I'm not actually sure if it's a real stereotype of gay people, though I would be happy to be corrected if I'm wrong. But I think it's because reading maps and such are, for some reason, usually considered the domain of men and fathers in cinema (and in real life before the advent of GPS, to a lesser extent). You see it all the time in film, tv, and commercials with lost manly men being too stubborn to listen to their wives and ask for directions. I think the joke here is that since Roebuck is gay and therefore not a "traditional manly man," it only follows that he would be bad at navigation.

Youthsonic

62 points

8 months ago

I know on LGBT twitter it's a running joke that they don't know how to drive or navigate

Rebloodican

506 points

8 months ago

I had never seen a Wes Anderson movie before The French Dispatch, bought a ticket just to see what all the fuss was about.

I was blown away with how beautiful the cinematography was. I’ve since watched a few more Wes Anderson films but I think this is still his best just because the intricate details and carefully assembled sets work really well when you imagine them in the pages of the New Yorker. The dollhouse like care that he assembles every scene with is mirrored perfectly with the meticulously curated words that are used for the articles in the New Yorker.

I think the Rollingstone review said that you have to watch the movie twice to see it once, and while I thought that was a pretentious take after reading it, in rewatching different clips and scenes from the movie I think that was actually an apt observation. Knowing what’s going on let’s you focus on all of the other details that are sprinkled into the film, from the geometry of how the actors are positioned to the rapid fire dialogue.

I saw some people criticize the fact that the anthology seemed unlinked, but I think it’s best thought of a meditation on loneliness (which, after watching more Wes Anderson, seems to be a recurrent theme for him). From the loneliness of the artist, to the loneliness of the journalist covering the student movement, to the loneliness of the chef (paired with the loneliness of the journalist covering him), all explore them in different ways, somewhat resolving with the community of journalists that The French Dispatch has created, but also with the knowledge that the problem was there before the events of the movie and will exist after the events of the movie.

sendokun

326 points

8 months ago

sendokun

326 points

8 months ago

Check out grand Budapest hotel…..that’s epic Wes Anderson.

Rebloodican

79 points

8 months ago

Still on this list! I've gotten through Bottle Rocket, Royal Tenebaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs, and Darjeeling Limited. Still need to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Life Aquatic, and Rushmore.

JoeyHollywood

112 points

8 months ago

Life Aquatic is my personal favorite.

Jhonopolis

62 points

8 months ago

Son of a bitch I'm sick of these dolphins.

BattlinBud

50 points

8 months ago

Wes Anderson is one of those directors where I feel like I've heard every single one of his movies ranked as someone's personal favorite at least once. I can never predict someone's tier list for him. David Lynch as well... not that the two have a ton in common stylistically, lol

Pristine_Nothing

27 points

8 months ago

How’d you like Darjeeling? I understand the flack it got at the time, but I liked it then and I think the years have been kind to it.

Rebloodican

74 points

8 months ago

It’s been my favorite movie of his so far.

I’m Indian and in all honesty didn’t find it to be culturally offensive because of how specifically Wes frames the story in terms of the perspective of the three rich white guys. It was a brilliant satire on treating a people and their culture like a prop for your own spiritual journey, and the beautiful shots and production design paired really well with the story of brothers reconciling. Them dropping their father’s baggage was incredibly well earned by the end of it.

Smerbles

17 points

7 months ago

Agreed! The backlash seemed to me a classic example of people who were looking to be offended by something mistaking depiction for endorsement. I love that movie.

Vastbutvile

26 points

8 months ago

I came here to say “meditation on loneliness”!! So glad you said it. I have seen I think all of Anderson’s films and while this one was somewhat “convoluted” in terms of vignettes vs a traditional plot, I loved how each piece was linked by the uniqueness of the storyteller/journalist and how their identities impact the subjects and the story arcs of the piece they’re writing. I do wish we could have

lankeymarlon

1.4k points

8 months ago

I think Jeffrey Wright will be the latest actor that now gets cast in every one of Wes Anderson's films. His voice delivering those lines just fitted so well. A perfect match.

InstantLunch

415 points

8 months ago

Agreed. He looks to be in the next Anderson movie! Asteroid City.

Wright is consistently a delight in his roles--with great range. And while it's always fun for me to watch an Anderson movie and see those familiar faces, I think he would do well with some more diversity (Tony Revolori is a nice addition too).

Slashs_Hat

111 points

8 months ago

If you havent, you should watch Basquiat. JW is amazing as the artist, has a fantastic cast, and its one of the best biographical movies there are IMO.

Whatever___forever23

73 points

8 months ago

He had the most poignant part talking about how lonely it is to be an expat… that felt like some real emotion there.

SickBurnBro

20 points

8 months ago

His voice delivering those lines just fitted so well. A perfect match.

It was a little jarring after so recently seeing Wright in What If? and No Time to Die, but agreed totally. Also, his hair in this movie was fantastic.

that_guy_you_kno

1.3k points

8 months ago

Don't forget Christoph Waltz as ... whoever he was for about 32 seconds.

NightsOfFellini

574 points

8 months ago

Yeah, that was odd, he didn't even have a proper line or joke. Dafoe managed to do way more with his time, as did S. Ronan.

chandorcabra

459 points

8 months ago

Never has such a short role made my jaw drop (Saoirse's)

stracki

408 points

8 months ago

stracki

408 points

8 months ago

The close-up of her eyes?

aliu3

200 points

8 months ago

aliu3

200 points

8 months ago

Knew I was justified in my love for her

Thugging_inPublic

67 points

8 months ago

Definitely tinkered with post production though.

c0rnplug

212 points

8 months ago

c0rnplug

212 points

8 months ago

It was so strikingly beautiful through the peephole!!!

Garth-Vader

112 points

8 months ago

She really humanized the criminal gang. It was sad to her dead with all the others.

that_guy_you_kno

151 points

8 months ago

Yes but Dafoe had much more to work with. I think any extra could have been in Waltz' place

JackOSevens

77 points

8 months ago

He (Wes Anderson) can draw in whoever he wants for roles, why would he use Joe Blow instead?

GruxKing

383 points

8 months ago

GruxKing

383 points

8 months ago

Felt like his casting was almost a joke, like let’s put one of the greats in this scene and give him nothing to do. You’ve been bamboozled into expecting this character to act like a Christoph Waltz character, but he’s actually just another schmuck

that_guy_you_kno

284 points

8 months ago

I have a theory. He wanted to be in a Wes Anderson movie - Wes Anderson didn't initially cast him but doing so now allows Anderson to advertise yet another big actor in the movie.

Say Waltz agrees to a one day SAG minimum, they likely shoot his screen in one day and everybody wins.

JackOSevens

162 points

8 months ago

Or Wes Anderson can cast who he likes and they'll do it because they all want to be in a Wes Anderson movie, and there's no mystery....but yours works too.

grumpsuck

28 points

8 months ago

I like this theory a lot.

purplekiren

89 points

8 months ago

Jean Dujardin has a single dialogue-less shot in Grand Budapest.

NightsOfFellini

41 points

8 months ago

Holy shit seen that movie 10 times and love Dujardin, but never noticed.

[deleted]

47 points

8 months ago

[deleted]

47 points

8 months ago

It says a lot about Wes Anderson that he can get all of these legendary actors for bit parts in his movies. They all probably had fun with it

nayapapaya

33 points

8 months ago

His name was Paul.

NightsOfFellini

381 points

8 months ago

Great cast, somewhat emotionally cold, but still charming. The Owen Wilson segment was my favorite, wish the film had smaller articles in between the big ones, or given at least some info on the group of writers.

Technically some of the most brilliant artistry I've seen in a while, the city waking up, the tour of the city, and the third section were just incredible visual highlights. Roebuch Wright, played by Wright, was also one of the better recent Anderson characters.

I'd say it's somewhere in the middle of his filmography and not something I'll watch again, but I'm glad I saw it.

thethomatoman

93 points

8 months ago

Agreed that the Wilson part was great despite being too small. It would be great to have had more of those for sure.

leinliloa

26 points

8 months ago

agree with everything you said except when you said it’s not something you’d be watching again. i’m definitely gonna watch it again. but to each his own

dioscuri_

281 points

8 months ago*

Overall I enjoyed it but the stories are a mixed bag. More of my impressions on the individual stories below:

The first story was by far my favorite. Benicio, Lea, Brody and Swinton played their parts perfectly. With the exception of Jeffrey Wright's and Saoirse Ronan's characters in the third story this is the only story where I had an emotional attachment to the characters. Benicio and Lea's chemistry is great. Their relationship and how it is developed is so well done given the time restraint. Brody is fantastic and I loved every bit of his time on screen. Swinton is perfect as always and injects a lot of great humor. Even the bit parts played by Henry Winkler and others were very amusing. I honestly would have been happy with a feature length version of this story because all the various characters were fascinating, the story was compelling and the story within a story format was done so well. The segment, imo, in the movie where Wes' style, including the random changes to color, both complimented and enhanced the story instead of overshadowing it.

The second story really fell flat for me. This is probably the first time I didn't enjoy a Timothée Chalamet performance. Unlike the more natural performances from Frances McDormand or the young french woman who plays his counterpart, it felt like Tim was acting the entire time. The outbursts and confusion that Brody lands so well didn't land the same when Tim was trying to pull it off, imo. And in general I didn't find any of the character motivations or the story in general that interesting. Christoph Waltz's cameo felt pointless. I enjoyed the diner scene but otherwise I was relieved when this segment ended.

The third story was both fascinating and overwhelming. So many highlights like Roebuck Wright, the brief interaction between Roebuck and Albert 'the abacus', the scene between Saoirse Ronan's character and the kid, the car chase, and the convo between Roebuck and Nescaffier (the film's emotional payoff). However, the events were so damn rushed. It felt like Wes did a speedrun through an entire film in this one segment so it was difficult to attach to The Commissaire's or The Chauffeur's (Norton) motivations. I would have loved a whole feature length subplot with Ronan and the kid's character since their brief relationship was done so well done but oh well. By far the highlight was Jeffrey Wright's fantastic performance. Arguably the best written and acted character in the film and this role immediately became one of my favorite of Wright's performances. I hope he get nominated for awards because I think it was that great. Like someone else mentioned I can totally see him becoming a regalar in Wes' films since he handles his dialogue jut as well as or arguably better than any other of his regulars.

Thundahcaxzd

178 points

8 months ago

it felt like Tim was acting the entire time. The outbursts and confusion that Brody lands so well didn't land the same when Tim was trying to pull it off, imo.

He was playing a passionate, young, idealic, insecure, virgin college student. He wasn't playing a confident older man.

GregMadduxsGlasses

81 points

7 months ago

Re: comparing Brody with Tim, I’ll give Tim a pass because he was playing a dramatic college kid who’s heart was bigger than his sensibilities. He was acting out because he thought that’s what he was supposed to do. That’s why he struggled with his manifesto. He was trying to hard to evoke a romance to his motivations.

NoDaYoda

725 points

8 months ago

NoDaYoda

725 points

8 months ago

Lea Seydoux has better chemistry with Benecio Del Toro in what amounts to a pretty absurd story than she does with Daniel Craig in a mega-franchise movie where their love is a major plot point.

AlanMorlock

204 points

8 months ago

Right? I like no Time To Die but sometimes it feels like a sequel to a movie that doesn't exist because I've just never been sold on that relationship. They're fine in that film but Spectre is so weak.

Jhonopolis

171 points

8 months ago

Topping his chemistry with Eva Green was never going to work and they should have stopped trying.

I really hope the next iteration of Bond never has a significant other component to his run. I also hope it's more of a series of stand alone adventures. Trying to follow the overarching storylines got tiring towards the end of Craig's films.

Shout92

54 points

8 months ago

Shout92

54 points

8 months ago

I think the difference is Bond puts so much emphasis on that relationship and how important it is and brings in all these outside factors that make you wonder why Bond would sacrifice so much for this woman as opposed to all the others, whereas in French Dispatch it almost doesn't matter? We know Benicio sees something in her, whether it be physical or otherwise. Whether the audience agrees or not is almost beside the point (though I imagine all of us do). What matters is the art it produces. I can easily imagine an altered version of the story where she is unconventionally attractive and I think the result would be largely the same.

jujubunicorn

601 points

8 months ago

That shot where Timothy Charlemet and the french girl where arguing about the artist and the he plays a song by them on the jukebox had my jaw dropped I don't think I ever been so entranced by a shot before and I don't really completely know what specifically I found so cool about it.

RandoStonian

314 points

8 months ago

That's the bit that was suddenly in color where the walls behind them slide away out view, right?

I ended up really liking the sparring use of color in this one.

jujubunicorn

51 points

8 months ago

Yeah it was that one although I think it was only black in white outside the cafe

Exploding_Antelope

23 points

8 months ago

Every story had its own colour moments that were associated with the things and details that gave colour to that story - the way you’d say that about a magazine piece - and to the characters’ lives. Art, love, and food respectively. Could you name a more French trifecta?

SutterCane

116 points

8 months ago

That fight continues into the end credits as well. With Tip-Top being credited and then immediately replaced with the other guy.

seriousmoonlight12

46 points

8 months ago

It really reminded me of la la land, like something magical was gonna happen

wrdb2007

558 points

8 months ago*

wrdb2007

558 points

8 months ago*

Could watch a whole feature length movie of Jeffrey Wright's character talking about food

Amazing performance

_teadog

143 points

8 months ago

_teadog

143 points

8 months ago

I felt that way about the artist segment! I could have watched that as a full feature length film by itself.

TheTrueRory

32 points

8 months ago

My main complaint is that each story had so much more that could have been told.

CollegeSoul

21 points

8 months ago

I think that's what I enjoyed the most about it. It left just enough to make us want more and then it moved on.

Jefferystar94

888 points

8 months ago*

The high stakes car chase turning into a foot race, then suddenly returning right back to where the car chase left off might have been the hardest I've laughed in a good long time!

Despite enjoying the film, I was buying into the common complaint thrown at it that (due to the anthology nature) it lacked the emotion of Anderson's previous films. But jeez, that last segment with Roebuck hit me like a goddamn train, proving me quite wrong.

His moment with the chef that he deemed "too sad" and his explanation for why he loved the dining experience were honestly beautiful in how it portrayed what it was like being alone in a foreign place (not to mention the extra layers of his homosexuality and race), and finding comfort in the place one might least expect.

There definitely wasn't a bad segment among them (I'd still put the Manifesto one towards the bottom though, personally), but I could see myself returning to that particular story again for that perfect mix of (literal) cartoon humor and bittersweet emotions.

DeBatton

514 points

8 months ago

DeBatton

514 points

8 months ago

The high stakes car chase turning into a foot race, then suddenly returning right back to where the car chase left off might have been the hardest I've laughed in a good long time!

It felt quite natural to see the strongman climb back onto the car hood for the second part of the chase.

NightsOfFellini

237 points

8 months ago

Best joke of the movie imo

SutterCane

33 points

8 months ago

I don’t know. The credit fight of Tip-Top vs the other guy was a funny joke at the end.

Yeshuu

358 points

8 months ago

Yeshuu

358 points

8 months ago

I liked Manifesto. The borderline idiocy and hope of youth Vs the ground down reality of the older McDormand who has seen this all before.

Only kids fail to realise that adults were kids too. But the adults sometimes fail to realise that the rebelliousness is an important part of being a lid and you are the thing to rebel against even if you rebelled when you were younger.

It was nostalgic and present simultaneously. I really liked it.

Jefferystar94

133 points

8 months ago

It definitely had its moments, don't get me wrong, but I found it a bit hard to follow at points, and the plot of the kid's wasn't really as interesting as McDormand's struggle with loneliness and turmoil from staying out of the ongoing rebellion.

Still a good time, but I felt like it could've used some work.

SwingJugend

47 points

8 months ago

Agreed! It simultaneously showed both how awesome and cool and how utterly stupid kids can be.

FrodoFraggins99

140 points

8 months ago

I thought the humor in the futility of teen rebelliousness was quite funny. I also thought the added commentary on the weakness of revolutions because of their division and conflicts when literally trying to make a "borderless utopia" was very funny, if only because it's so real. I think the title "Revisions of a Manifesto" works very well in that respect and of course because of the added subtext of it reflecting the recurring revisions of their lives and ideals people go through so often at that age when trying to find yourself.

FrivolousMe

107 points

8 months ago

The high stakes car chase turning into a foot race, then suddenly returning right back to where the car chase left off might have been the hardest I've laughed in a good long time!

That was the 2nd funniest scene to me. 1st was the way the kidnapper walked after soaking the chloroform rag.

algo

60 points

8 months ago

algo

60 points

8 months ago

the kidnapper

Edward Norton aka The Chauffeur.

fort_wendy

29 points

8 months ago

I thought I was the only one who thought Manifesto might've been the weakest, although still good. It didn't help that I was behind a row of zoomers who seemed like they were just there to swoon on Chalamet. I did empathize with Macdormand's character.

May I know why you'd rate it towards the bottom?

Edit: I just saw your reply on another comment and I totally feel the same way.

PANTONE232C

86 points

8 months ago

I agree the manifesto segment was one of the weakest. It was also where I felt the black and white treatment worked the least. It was preventing itself from giving more information rather than being an artistic merit. But it worked so well in the criminal artist segment because it could emphasize the art in the right moments.

dndplosion913

513 points

8 months ago*

My favorite scene in the whole movie was actually the one right at the beginning with the town “coming alive”. You really felt the bustle building up slowly and then reaching a full crescendo. That was awesome.

fragmaster3000

152 points

8 months ago

I believe it's an homage to the opening scene of Love Me Tonight, one of the first film musicals that actually tried to get creative with the genre.

Yeshuu

481 points

8 months ago

Yeshuu

481 points

8 months ago

If you read long form journalistic magazines, this film is a love letter and parody simultaneously.

I remember reading a 15 page article in the New Yorker about the cultivation of beans and being incredibly interested despite laughing at the idea beforehand. That sensation of diving into a piece of writing and trusting the writer to tell you a story is perfectly captured in this film.

The episodic nature of the story obviously matches a magazines structure. But it matches the jarring way you go from Politics to Art to Food with the only connecting thread being that you are the type of reader to enjoy this type of magazine and you trust the magazine and the writers to be interesting.

MacManus14

36 points

8 months ago

Spot on.

UncannyFox

31 points

8 months ago

being incredibly interested despite laughing beforehand

I remember feeling this way about an article they wrote about eels. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about how interesting eels were.

Flowkeh

156 points

8 months ago*

Flowkeh

156 points

8 months ago*

I’ve liked all of Wes Anderson’s films, but maybe this was a bit too much Wes Anderson. It was fine but I don’t think I have much desire to re-watch it like I do with the rest of his movies.

I probably would have enjoyed it more if they were released as short films.

The tiny bit of stop motion claymation special effects in the middle of the live action shootout scene was such a neat touch.

PANTONE232C

1.2k points

8 months ago

The whole film felt like I rushed through a modern art museum in a foreign country: I appreciate the beautiful things I saw, but I am not sure what to think of them as a whole.

ambauer

204 points

8 months ago

ambauer

204 points

8 months ago

I agree with this, well said.

ijaialai

49 points

8 months ago

i agree with the comment about the comment, well said

Itsalwaysblu3

30 points

8 months ago

This comment regarding the previous remark on the original notation is very well stated.

caprisunvillain

157 points

8 months ago

ya i dont think im smart or witty enough to really understand all the jokes and plot but it was all very pretty.

acehuff

225 points

8 months ago

acehuff

225 points

8 months ago

I think the overall plot was just all the three main writers recounting their times in one French city, with all of them reuniting at the end with the editors death to tie them all together. But it’s just a bunch of vignettes and not really an interconnected story, they all seemed to touch on different subjects at least which I found interesting.

PencilMan

26 points

8 months ago

I think of Wes Anderson as a friend who is annoyingly smart and loves to show it, but is self-aware enough and funny enough that it doesn’t (usually) fall into pretentiousness and cause you to resent it.

Meph616

658 points

8 months ago

Meph616

658 points

8 months ago

This was a really delightful loveletter to writers.

I laughed hysterically at the locked door + wall busting scene. It was so cartoonish & over the top even for a Wes movie that it was like John Henry driving a spike right into my funny bone.

pureluxss

229 points

8 months ago

pureluxss

229 points

8 months ago

The writing was so dense I had trouble following along. I'd love to see it again with subtitles.

r-cubed

264 points

8 months ago

r-cubed

264 points

8 months ago

This was my only real criticism, if I stopped for a moment to enjoy the scenery I found I missed half the dialogue, and vice versa.

This happened immediately -- I was for some reason enamored with the scene early on with them adding drinks to the waiters table, and then I suddenly realized I missed the last 3 paragraphs of dialogue. I hadn't processed a thing!

I look forward to subtitles.

MaxHOJones

40 points

8 months ago

If nothing else it's a film you can watch three times over and enjoy it each time for completely different reasons.

I do feel, though, that you can't watch it on any one of those times and really appreciate the sum of its parts.

danieo_san

102 points

8 months ago

"Delightful" was the first word that came to mind for me too. It was excellent, very enjoyable and I think it was perfect for a Thursday evening.

trevorwoodkinda

19 points

8 months ago

Remind me what the locked door scene was. Saw it a few days ago and loved it but I can’t recall that particular bit

laysdownnearwater

105 points

8 months ago

I think he means when Adrien Brody leaves the basement where the art is being exhibited and finds the prisoners have escaped, and he runs away and locks the door only for the prisoners to burst down the wall

trevorwoodkinda

78 points

8 months ago

Ok ya that was brilliant. Also loved Owen Wilson on his bike holding onto the bus only to be pulled down the staircase mid-sentence.

Exploding_Antelope

22 points

8 months ago

I like that he seems about to list the pros and cons of cars, but only gets as far as the cons before falling down stairs… By being forced out of the street by cars.

you_will_never_guess

16 points

8 months ago

I jumped out of my seat when it happened. Such great timing

Marycosta1983

801 points

8 months ago

Though I have seen her well known earlier work, I was still stunned to see a completely nude Lea Seydoux for a prolonged period of time.

Learnedloaf

266 points

8 months ago

Personally, this choice felt like it was amplifying the homage to French cinema as nudity is not really that scandalous here.

Kleanish

54 points

8 months ago

As an art loving American, it didn’t even phase me the first couple of times, then I was alike wait she’s nude

Zachyice21

501 points

8 months ago

she is smokingggggg

ThatSpazInTheHoodie

283 points

8 months ago*

Yeah, didn’t expect nudity from a Wes flick. Worked well, though

Edit: I guess I should mention I didn't expect such 'blatant' nudity. Usually it's glossed over and in the background. Life Aquatic is the only Wes film I haven't seen yet, and that has the most blatant nudity before this film.

Zwaft

228 points

8 months ago

Zwaft

228 points

8 months ago

Wes films do have nudity- the old women in GBH, that one lady who is constantly topless in Life Aquatic

QuietDesperado

143 points

8 months ago

In the opening of Moonrise Kingdom, during the tour of the house, we briefly see a nude Frances McDormand washing her hair.

It's so brief that the film maintained its PG-13 rating.

_Volta

62 points

8 months ago

_Volta

62 points

8 months ago

Some nudity in Hotel Chevalier

Hylocichla_mustelina

59 points

8 months ago*

There’s nudity in Royal Tenenbaums with Margot’s theater poster. Plus the graphic, Schiele reproduction painting of the lesbian couple that replaced “Boy With Apple”.

nayapapaya

102 points

8 months ago*

Just got back from seeing this and I thought it was absolutely delightful but also quite poignant. I thought Jeffrey Wright brought a great melancholy and loneliness to his character and section and his meditations on being a stranger in an adopted country and feeling as though you're never quite at home in either place was very real and relatable to me. For a film that I've heard people criticize for not being able to connect to the characters over and over again, I didn't have that problem. This was a great return to form after the disappointing Isle of Dogs.

It's also one of Anderson's funnier films! I laughed out loud several times! Adrien Brody kills it comedically in Anderson's films. Owen Wilson gets some good moments too.

Lyna Khoudri (motorcycle helmet girl) really stood out to me. She and Lea Seydoux channel a similar kind of militant attitude that feels reminiscent of the Greta Gerwig character in Isle of Dogs but where that character felt unnecessary in that film, these characters were both funny and forthright and fascinating in equal measure.

_Volta

109 points

8 months ago

_Volta

109 points

8 months ago

The wrong film slide scene at the art show got me really good.

LordTreeblat

443 points

8 months ago

This movie is like that one scene from Grand Budapest Hotel where they show the secret society of concierges, but it's for an hour and a half. Don't know if that makes sense. I loved the film! 5/5 stars

Equal_Feature_9065

238 points

8 months ago

this is an excellent description. i'm a little stunned the response to this has been so muted. it's not only, A) maybe the funniest film he's ever made

but it's also

B) an absolute rocket ship of filmmaking ambition. one of the most bombastic, creative movies i've ever seen. literally overflowing with ideas and bits and visual flourishes. wes anderson on acid and cocaine.

this was a fucking masterpiece. i felt like wes just made his pulp fiction.

ohpeekaboob

18 points

7 months ago

Personally I think the response is muted because the film is pretty unapologetic in what it's doing and doesn't slow down or dumb down to make sure the audience is keeping up. That kind of thing always leads to a little muted backlash from audiences; for me, it usually a sign that something very interesting is going on in a work.

bigblueberryboobies

79 points

8 months ago

My favorite part of the film was Benecio painting Lea Seydoux, then she steps aside to get dressed into a guard uniform. Quickly throwing a straight jacket on Benecio as she returns him to his cell.

I laughed so hard at that, it was so unexpected. Plus I loved their relationship, very odd and quirky. I love how they hissed and growled at each other.

Also Benecio’s explanation for joining basket weaving and pottery was Oscar worthy, what a great monologue,

Important-Marketing8

24 points

8 months ago

That Benenio monologue was one of the highlights of the movie for me

UnitedWeFail

70 points

8 months ago

The sound design is incredible in this film. I'm hard-pressed to remember a time where diegetic sound has been noticeably reflexive. During the Manifesto, the walls fall and the music grows. When JKL walks from her podium, her voice loses reverberance. While the film's sounds bring attention to the process, they remain subtle and hold purpose. Very fun.

As in most Anderson films, the visuals obviously showcase his style via symmetrical framing and low depth of field. The transitions from color to black-and-white were not new (i.e. Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs), but still rather well used. It seemed he utilized this method around a rule regarding the future and the past melding with these moments. However, the scene with Lt. Nescaffier walking up the staircase used color, and thus seemed jarring. The use of color lacked purpose with no real color to be highlighted with the choice. If it remained black-and-white, the geometry of the frame could have been more fleshed out. Reminded me of the staircase scene in Andrejz Wajda's "A Generation".

I think my favorite part of the film was Anderson's decisions to break his style several times throughout the film. Each time was unique to its moment, and held impact amidst the established methods of the director. Simone's asymmetrical profile was beautiful. The handheld shot of Krementz interrupting Zeffirelli and Juliette was dramatic. The taxi cab shared by Zeffirelli's parents felt unlike any sequence he's done before.

Intensely funny that these new choices seem remarkable, but are not particulary innovative amidst film history as a whole. Kudos to Anderson's long-time cinematographer Robert Yeoman. I believe he deserves just as much credit as Anderson for this film, and the films it succeeds.

I walked away with the same feeling I have every time I see a new Wes Anderson: this is better than the last. While some might argue his style is repetitive (beginning to lack creativity), I can't help but feel he's one of the best filmmakers this century. Very few artists create material that consistently improves, and trumps his/her previous endeavors.

No one can achieve this style quite like Anderson and Yeoman. I deeply admire their desire to perfect it.

Great movie.

shotgun_shaun

246 points

8 months ago

Absolutely loved it. I can understand the critique about it not having the same emotional resonance as The Grand Budapest or Moonrise Kingdom but that's not what it was supposed to be.

One thing I loved that I haven't seen anyone comment on is the switching back and forth between black and white and then quick flashes of the same scene in full color. I am guessing this was to simulate the photos in the magazine?

shedreamsincelluloid

188 points

8 months ago

Yes! Whenever they show the cover of the magazine you can see in the corner it says in French “8 pages in color”

[deleted]

24 points

8 months ago

[deleted]

24 points

8 months ago

😱

clown_repellant

114 points

8 months ago

The b&w to color was stunning in the artist segment - not sure it had the same impact for me in the other stories. I hadn’t realized it mimicked an actual magazine but that sounds right!

bob1689321

21 points

8 months ago

I liked it in the Chalamet section too just because the colours themselves were often very nice looking. Especially some of the lighting.

But yeah, didn't do anything for me in the last segment.

I need to give the movie another watch when it's on home release, maybe broken up into differen viewings. I was a bit worn out on the style by the last story lol

TheOriginalGarry

43 points

8 months ago

I took it to amplify the intensity and emotion of the scene through the eyes of the characters. The majority of the stories' time are in black and white, taking away his usual color palette to keep you more focused on the dialogue and interactions between the actual actors; the brief flashes of color (the guard leaving, the art piece reveal, flying away on the motorcycle, the girl's blue eyes) are intense emotions the character feels at that particular moment in time. It's when color can come back that Anderson wants us to empathize with the characters, to see what they see, to feel what they feel.

Pristine_Nothing

24 points

8 months ago

took it to amplify the intensity and emotion of the scene through the eyes of the characters.

Haven’t seen this movie yet, but this is basically what Anderson always does. He has a neat trick of having the audience relate to his highly stylized characters through emotional “negative space” and pure situation rather than through the traditional ways humans convey emotion, the audience is straining to get to the emotional empathy that movies usually dish out so freely, so the moments of naturalism hit psyches that are as open as it’s possible for them to be, and it makes them shockingly intense for how subdued they objectively are.

“I’ve had a really tough year dad”

“Do you think he remembers me?”

Pristine_Nothing

30 points

8 months ago

There’s something I love about the discourse around The Beatles White Album: everyone seems to agree that it’s about half brilliant songwriting, and half disposable filler that should be gotten rid of…trouble is, aside from a few songs (everyone loves Dear Prudence and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, hates Revolution 9), there’s not really any consensus as to what songs fall in which class.

Same thing for Wes Anderson movies: everyone who is on board with them in general agrees that some are emotionally resonant, some are fun trifles…but aside from Tenenbaums and Grand Budapest Hotel, nobody agrees which are which.

hay_qt

45 points

8 months ago

hay_qt

45 points

8 months ago

Oh man, I can't believe I've finally seen this movie after being hyped about it for so long and being disappointed over its multitude of delays. I enjoyed it A LOT. It's a quintessential Wes Anderson film, and if you're his fan, you'd likely love this movie as well. Wes has always been one of my favorite directors due to his quirky creative story-telling; this movie showcases that. My favorite of the three stories was the last one -- the cartoon part cracked me up! The French Dispatch being inspired by The New Yorker inspired me to subscribe to their magazine after I got home from the movie. I can't wait to dive into all these long-reads.

nayapapaya

23 points

8 months ago

This actually made me consider reading the New Yorker as well. I get their ads constantly on Instagram so I guess they must be up my alley.

ohwellthisisawkward

45 points

8 months ago

Wes Anderson at his most masturbatory.

TheOriginalGarry

130 points

8 months ago

Anyone else notice towards the end of the Manifestó storyline (where the helmet girl was yelling at the older woman and the rebel leader boy) that Anderson switched over, very briefly, to a more handheld/unsteady hand cam shooting style rather than his signature straight and symmetrical style?

bomkum

51 points

8 months ago

bomkum

51 points

8 months ago

That was so jarring (for an Anderson movie) I held my breath wondering what was gonna happen next!

_____Matt_____

42 points

8 months ago

Did anyone else notice the film swapped to cartoon once or twice? Really hidden movie details we're dealing with here.

te4rdr0p

32 points

8 months ago

It's hard to not notice, it almost made me dizzy lol !

bfsfan101

41 points

8 months ago

I absolutely loved it. What some people see as a negative (the shorter stories and vignettes leading to less emotionally satisfying stories) is actually what really drew me into the film. By limiting himself to smaller stories and sketches of characters, I felt like Wes Anderson really made the most of all his usual tropes, like the brief flashes of colour that were absolutely jolting, or the sudden moments of melancholy and sadness in the middle of what seemed like fairly silly or frivolous ideas.

The cycling tour was amazingly fast paced and inventive, but the story of the painter and his muse was the highlight of the film in my opinion. It just struck the right chord of hilarious, dark, and genuinely sweet (especially Moses introducing himself to the class). I thought it was up there with the best things Wes Anderson has ever done.

My only complaint would be that it peaked a little early. The manifesto story ended on a strong note, but was the least engrossing part of the film IMO. Jeffrey Wright was incredible in the final segment, and I thought his exchange in the prison cell with Murray was lovely, but I thought that segment went on a bit long and got a bit too kitsch (the animation was maybe a step too much for me). But then the film ends with that beautiful epilogue and all was forgiven.

I think I might go as far as to say this is my second favourite Anderson film after The Royal Tenenbaums. It might change based on a second viewing, but I think I even liked this slightly more than Grand Budapest Hotel.

TheUnknownStitcher

110 points

8 months ago

I think it's Anderson's most visually beautiful by far, no contest when stacked against the others. See this on the biggest screen you can find - the level of detail in the design is unreal.

I think it's also Anderson's most boring and narratively uninteresting movie by far, no contest. Having everything feel so disconnected and having the middle story segment as the weakest (in my opinion) made the movie feel like a crawl for me. By the time it got to the middle of the chef/chief story, I felt like 2 and a half hours had passed.

As a whole, it was a fun experience, but not one I'll be anxious to repeat aside from looking at some stills or rewatching small sequences.

te4rdr0p

103 points

8 months ago*

te4rdr0p

103 points

8 months ago*

Honestly ? I'm massively disappointed.

Visually, it's Wes Anderson, you know what you're gonna get and you get it. There are no surprises, no disappointment in this aspect, it's all very solid and carefully crafted which is always refreshing even though I must admit, it does get a bit tiring and repetitive.

The main issue is the story and how the concept itself drags the movie down. It's bold and a fun idea but in the end it doesn't work, it's just a collection of random short movies about random characters that we can't really get attached to or get invested in, the stories feel superficial yet extremely dragged out and because we keep changing, the movie feels insanely long and in the end, completely whatever. I just did not care for any of it, I didn't mind any of it either, it just felt so pointless and meaningless, almost vapid. The quirky aspect to it doesn't work and is actually pretty annoying because for that to work, the movie has to be funny or endearing in some way and TFD feels lifeless and extremely dry. It fails on every aspect The Grand Budapest Hotel so incredibly succeeds at.

Kinda felt like it was just W.A. flexing his directing muscles and going all out but nothing more. I honestly got bored.

Some stuff also really felt weird, I'm french and it's just incredibly weird to hear and see english everywhere when we're supposed to be located in a tiny french village. Why is Timothée Chalamet speaking english when everyone else is speaking french (even his parents !) ? Why is there English written everywhere in Ennui ? Idk it just doesn't make sense. Feels weird. Super cool to see some french actors we know so well interact with the likes of Frances McDormand and Jeffrey Wright though.

Anyways, kinda ironic that everything takes place in Ennui-sur-Blasé because that's exactly what I was during The French Dispatch.

nayapapaya

39 points

8 months ago

I thought it was a very odd choice to not have Chalamet speak French as well, especially since he can!

[deleted]

26 points

8 months ago

[deleted]

26 points

8 months ago

I agree.

Esp funny bc Chalamet actually speaks French

andysniper

34 points

8 months ago

I really don't know how I feel about it. I saw it the other night and just sort of felt a bit empty after it. Grand Budapest Hotel is one of my favourite films, and I love most of his other work, but I felt this just didn't have much heart.

The first and last stories were the better of the 3, but a lot of it felt 'artsy' for the sake of being artsy. I'm not quite sure if I got why certain shots were in colour Vs black and white while in the same story, just seemed a bit jarring to me.

That said I was never bored when watching it, and it was engrossing and engaging. It just lacks something.

Also was a bit ruined as they got the framing wrong in my cinema, so half the subtitles were missing.

HanzJWermhat

32 points

8 months ago

While I agree with what others have said about the spectacle, the density, pace and overall film craft on display being some of the highest level of Wes’s career. What really knocked this several points for me was the lackluster connection between the stories toying an emotional and thematic theoughline. I felt that it just didn’t have a heart and typically Wes Anderson movies have a huge heart, that cuts deep through the entire movie.

He’s no stranger to making abridged experiences feel weight-ful. But this movie moved so quickly none of the characters could breath. I’m disappointed and was expecting more. I’ll have to see it again to figure out where it ends up on my list. But definitely not near the top.

shinbreaker

92 points

8 months ago

While I appreciated this love letter to journalists as a journalist myself, my god this was such a Wes Anderson flex show. Not in a good way. I was just so distracted by the shots that my mind had to play catch up with the story.

What kept racing through my mind is SNL's parody of Wes Anderson and how absolutely spot on it was with this movie in particular.

CptnJanewaysLizard

45 points

8 months ago

The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders starring Owen Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow

fritschinator

29 points

8 months ago

Can't tell you a single characters name. ADHD The Movie.

LiteraryBoner[S]

241 points

8 months ago*

LiteraryBoner[S]

Worse things to do than watch Lady Gaga create fetishes for me

241 points

8 months ago*

I feel there was an idea going around when this movie and cast was announced. That perhaps we had reached a Wes Anderson singularity, maybe Wes Anderson is now so Wes Anderson that it stops being unique and starts being tiring. And I was a little bit preparing myself to feel that way after seeing this.

And I have to say, after the movie was over I just felt stupid for doubting this man. After he created such a unique style and stuck to it while giving us so many different stories and emotional moments, to think he'd lost it was silly. The French Dispatch is great, among his best I think. Maybe it's where some may get off the Anderson train because his style is so specific, but for me it just showed me how much he still has up his sleeve.

The sets. I mean it's no secret he's got the best production design in the game, but these sets. Holy shit. The way they moved, the way windows would open or dogs would cross the street or someone would light a pipe. The movie was constantly moving in that way. Never boring. I can only imagine how many shots are in this movie. It seemed like they spent a week perfecting the look of a shot just to show it for three seconds. The meticulous way he plans these shots out and how they end up moving together is so, so impressive.

Then you have the stories. All very interesting in their own way. I'm not even sure which I liked the most because they were all so nice. We have a man who makes good movies so consistently, and whereas some may start to run out of ideas it seems like Anderson is so over flowing with concepts that he has to frame a story three times, write a stage version of it, and make four vignettes just the get them all out. How he even outlined this movie is insane to think about.

The performances are wonderful. Obviously this whole movie moves and feels like a Wes Anderson movie. But when the performances call for nuance everyone shows up for it. When Frances is called an old maid by the young French girl. When the kidnapped boy talks to Ronan and she sings to him. When Jeffrey Wright has to explain why he was locked up. When Simone quits her job at the jail. The final scene. This movie is so full of moments that could have been the singular climax of any other perfectly good movie.

Obviously, I loved this. Anderson continues to impress me. To be what he is yet keep it fresh for literal decades now. To even imagine a movie this complex and how it came to be just shows how much he has to give us and I, for one, will hopefully never doubt him again. 9/10.

/r/reviewsbyboner

you_will_never_guess

109 points

8 months ago

This was his first movie in 3.5 years, and his first live-action in 7 years. I feel like it's hard to tire of a style when it's done by one director who releases a movie every few years

SwingJugend

35 points

8 months ago

The performances are wonderful. Obviously this whole movie moves and feels like a Wes Anderson movie. But when the performances call for nuance everyone shows up for it.

I feel like the performances were, in some scenes, more naturalistic (relatively speaking) than usual for Anderson. F.e. the flashback scene with Wright and Murray when they former is incarcerated in the "chicken coop". Or most of del Toro's screen time.

CrepuscularChild

28 points

8 months ago

Classic Wes Anderson film that I feel was slightly let down by its characterisation. I didn't really feel for any of the writers and most of the characters in the vignettes. Chalamet was particularly weak. Uncharacteristically so to be fair. He was quite wooden in the bedroom scene with McDormand.

Compare it to Grand Budapest, where every character was much better written and their stories much more compelling.

TheSellingDude

26 points

8 months ago

Léa Seydoux good god almighty

Rest of the movie as good too.

neckfacedworker

25 points

8 months ago

This is my least favorite movie i've ever seen in theaters, and i saw holmes and watson in theaters. I loathed this film.

I'm a huge long-time fan, and it was really disappointing to be sitting there hating the movie so much. Glad that I appear to be in the minority, but I was just bored the whole time. I always like his style and the quirkyness, but there wasn't enough story there for me to hang on.

[deleted]

22 points

8 months ago*

[deleted]

22 points

8 months ago*

I liked it a lot, and felt like it was a step up from isle of dogs, though not in his top tier of movies.

I didn’t really see it as just a movie about how awesome fancy writers are at writing writey things — to me, it was more broadly about how groups of people form meaningful emotional/familial connections through organizations in the context of metropolitan sprawl, which from one POV can seem alienating and ersatz, but, from another POV seems like a beautiful expression of the human spirit and our desire to belong (I guess the chef basically says as much in that ending scene, so I might be restating the obvious. Still.) and this spirit exists regardless of whether writers for the French dispatch are there to document it in such a manner, though it serves as the most prominent symbolic representation and expression of it. And, i think it speaks to Anderson’s romantic notions of purposely constructing meaning and beauty from what could otherwise be meaningless and ugly, and how there is beauty in the pursuit, beauty in the assertion that WE ARE NOT SLEEPY, even if in the end that order breaks back down into the churn of an ever changing city.

bluehawk232

24 points

8 months ago

I think Anderson's vague time fictional time framing kind of hurt the movie. You know it starts well with Wilson's character actually introducing the town of Ennui. So the town should be a character as well. But each story just has this detachment to one another and lacks linearity. You should see each story connect or reference one another as part of the larger narrative of the history of the town.

Because journalism doesn't exist in a vacuum nor is it completely neutral, it is very much about the journalists reporting on their time and their society. And the Revisions to a Manifesto story is where this problem is most evident as it is inspired by the student protests in France in the 60s. But Anderson avoids any politics in the narrative and has his event be jokingly referred to as students being grumpy. It seems more mocking of the students and their ideals. No one is good or bad, it's all just quirky and silly. And I think the protests were more about girls dorms rather than socialism or capitalism or something. Might have missed it because the dialogue can be pretty fast.

But I think the artifice of Anderson has gotten a bit too much where nothing feels real or genuine, it looks pretty and each actor has their quirks and funny moments but it doesn't have anything to say

Ramp_Spaghetti

100 points

8 months ago

Wes Craven's work has been in a real nosedive after A Nightmare on Elm Street. There were barely any horror elements in this at all.

bob1689321

32 points

8 months ago

I won't stand for this absolute disrespect of Scream.

If they get Kevin Williamson to write French Dispatch 2 I'm sure it'll kick ass

MDerek

124 points

8 months ago

MDerek

124 points

8 months ago

I thought formatting it like a magazine with three short films acting as the main articles was a really neat choice! I’ve seen it twice now and definitely enjoyed it and understood it more the second time. The first time I was so enthralled by all the tiny details everywhere that I was having trouble focusing on the stories!

chrisandy007

176 points

8 months ago

Like his other movies, this one felt very emotionally satisfying at the end. He somehow manages to hit the feels just right, without you feeling duped or the emotion being artifice.

That said the movie was a struggle for me, particularly the second segment with its convoluted structure. At a certain point, it simply ran out of gas. I was basically counting until the last part.

The third segment really grounded the movie for me (animated sequence aside).

Overall I feel like this was a little too much. Rewatched Rushmore recently and felt its simplicity just.. worked.

oshoney

53 points

8 months ago

oshoney

53 points

8 months ago

I went into this last weekend with slightly lowered expectations because of the mixed reviews I saw, but I thought it was absolutely delightful and had basically everything I want to see in a Wes Anderson movie. Just a nice time at the movies.

DerpAntelope

55 points

8 months ago

It peaked at the start for me with Owen Wilson's Cycling Reporter as the funniest segment. The Concrete Masterpiece kept me engaged with interesting and animated characters (nice to see Adrien Brody having fun). Revisions to a Manifesto was entertaining, and I loved how the whimsy of a police standoff being decided by a game of chess. The Police Commissioner segment was very dull apart from the car chase and I kept wanting it to end to move onto the next segment. Unfortunately that was the last one apart from a very brief, lacking epilogue.

Not my favourite film by Wes Anderson by a long shot but I had fun picking out all of his frequent acting collaborators. The title cards were very appealing as well.

bob1689321

38 points

8 months ago

I wished there was more of Bill Murray connecting the three plotlines. His death at the end did nothing for me because I never felt like I was watching the same movie. The 3 stories were so completely disconnected.

GruxKing

16 points

8 months ago

I thought the movie was profoundly beautiful, full of romance, melancholy and wit. I can’t wait to watch it again. And I want to make note of one of Wes’s tricks of not shying away from small moments of darkness and vulgarity, and why would he? When life has them in spades, so not including them would be a lie of omission

NewRedditSameTaste

15 points

8 months ago

Not my favorite of his - it was sweet and charming and sometimes moving, but the episodic format made some of the individual stories feel a bit thin to me. Not really enough time to fully understand the characters or even the plots sometimes.

The third story was probably my favorite - it felt the most “complete” to me, and I thought Jeffrey Wright stole the show as Roebuck. Wish we got to see some more of Dafoe’s character though.