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Wes Anderson’s overbearing eye for quaint details strangles all the fun from a film that should have been a lot better than it actually is.

As The French Dispatch unspools, Wes Anderson's ode to the idiosyncratic journalism displayed in The New Yorker, I kept wondering which of the three segments of the movie would actually make the cut in that magazine.

On premise alone, probably all three would stand a chance, but on execution I assume any New Yorker editor would send Wes Anderson back to the drawing board. It's not so much the director's trademark dollhouse approach to filmmaking that I found annoying this time around.

In fact, Adam Stockhausen's Tati-esque production design is perfectly in sync with the French setting of the movie. But the dialogue and voice-overs are frustratingly stilted, the characters are so abundant they never get room for development and the narrative contains too few gems to keep your attention.

Wes Anderson might have perfected his peculiar style in The French Dispatch, but should anyone care anymore at this point?

release: 2021

director: Wes Anderson

starring: Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Frances McDormand, Thimothée Chalamet


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