High prince of the quirky, Wes Anderson, is back with his new movie The French Dispatch, and it's as wonderfully off-the-wall as you'd expect. The filmmaker behind The Royal Tenenbaums, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs now applies his singular vision to a group of ex-pat American journalists in France, composing a typically fastidious and eccentric collection of stories within stories, each adorned by memorably deadpan characters.
Anderson favourite Bill Murray leads the cast as Arthur Howlitzer Jr., editor of the eponymous French Dispatch publication, which is dedicated to exposing every facet of local Gallic life in the town of Ennui-sur-Blasé. In typical Anderson style, the movie then splits into multiple narratives variously involving priceless art, student counter-culture rebellion, French cuisine and unexpected kidnappings. (The film's structure is described as "an obituary, a travel guide and three feature articles.")
The movie features a remarkably star-studded cast, including (deep breath) Owen Wilson, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton, Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Saoirse Ronan and Willem Dafoe.
Two of the film's illustrious A-listers, Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet, are present in this new black and white clip. Nomadland Oscar winner McDormand plays journalist Lucinda Krementz whose reportage on the 1960s student rebellion brings her into contact with firebrand revolutionary, and aspiring manifesto writer, Zefferelli (Call Me By Your Name's Chalamet). The combination of lustrous monochrome, oddball body language, politics and quirky humour makes it quintessential Anderson fare.
The French Dispatch recently made its debut at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival where it was lauded by critics. Variety calls the film "dizzyingly intricate", describing it as "Anderson’s arms-wide-open tribute to a generation of complicated geniuses... the winks come as dense and dizzying as guilty-pleasure movie references do in a Quentin Tarantino picture".
The French Dispatch is scheduled for release in the UK and Ireland on 22nd October 2021. Here's the full trailer if you haven't already caught it.