Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch is a Must See


Scene from the French Dispatch

Solon Perry, Ranger Review Staff

The French Dispatch is acclaimed director Wes Anderson’s latest release. The film details through a series of vignettes the final article published by the French Dispatch, a conglomeration of expatriate fighters.  The stories take place in the small French town of Ennui. The four short stories, each corresponding with a section in the paper, are as follows: “The Cycling Reporter,” “Concrete Masterpiece,” “Revisions to a Manifesto,” and “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner.” Each of these stories expertly extracts the essence of what makes the subject of each article so great. For example, In the “Concrete Masterpiece” story mentally disturbed artist Moses Rosenthaler is serving a 50-year sentence in jail.  To pass time, he paints abstract nude portraits of Simone,  a guard working at the prison. The piece titled Simone Naked J Block Hobby Room catches the eye of Julien Cadazio, an art dealer serving a short sentence for tax evasion. Upon his release he convinces his uncle’s famous art conservationists of Rosenthaler’s ability and his importance of Modern Art. He tells his unkles that “To see if these Modern Art people actually know what they’re talking about, you ask them to paint a horse or boat or something.” He produces a small piece of paper from his pocket and says “See this, a perfect sparrow drawn right before my eyes in 25 seconds with a matchstick.  He can do this but he chooses to paint this  [referring to the abstract painting].  He thinks for whatever reason this is better, and I kind of agree.”

 This perfectly encapsulates the often missed significance of abstract art.  This film gives similarly apt analysis to the other three articles which I will not spoil for you in this review. The movie switches between black and white to draw emphasis to important sensory moments visual or otherwise. I’d like to imagine the parts which include color in the film are particularly well-written sentences within the articles.  This technique leads to several stunning moments. This is Wes Anderson’s best film. 9/10