14A, not recommended for young children.
Dir: Wes Anderson, US/Germany, 2021, 107 min.
Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet.
“The French Dispatch is a mid-20th-century edition of The New Yorker magazine, if it were published in a small French town and everyone involved was picturesquely eccentric. It doesn’t really have a plot, just a central event: Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray), editor of The French Dispatch, has died, and the staff has gathered to write his obituary. Four mostly unrelated stories unfold, from the magazine’s pages: a travelogue led by a beret-wearing Owen Wilson; a tale of a mad artist/convict who becomes the talk of the art world; an account of a student strike in France, led by two students appropriately named Zeffirelli and Juliette; and a sort of Andersonesque French crime drama… All of this unfolds in a charmingly deadpan way, performed by a troupe of actors who seem to be having a blast… Murray delivers another quiet gem, as a non showy editor in an office full of preening writers drawn in various shades of diva. Howitzer, like all great editors, just wants the writing to be as good as it can be ‘Try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose,’ is his trademark (excellent) advice… An elegant ode to good writing, and to those who quietly stand behind the words.” Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times