THE FRENCH DISPATCH (2021)

Classic Wes Anderson, in the sense that it’s unlike his other films while still being quintessentially a Wes Anderson film.

More a series of loosely connected stories hung on a bookend framing device than a singular narrative. Each section is portrayed with Anderson’s distinctive flair, immaculate set design, quirky characters and deadpan delivery.

The cast is perhaps the most stacked of any of his (which is really saying something), and each of the vignettes comes packaged in black and white with only occasional shots of vibrant colour for impact. Likely as close as he’ll come to doing a full feature in black and white, his shot composition is nonetheless striking even drained of colour.

The set design and staging execution is fantastic, especially in the repeated motif of tracking shots that move from scene to scene, with actors holding pose as though in a still life painting.

Offbeat and weird. If you like Wes Anderson, you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t stand his style or the way he shapes performances, this isn’t likely to change your mind.

Still, very much recommended.

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