Day Twenty-Five: The French Dispatch (March of the Movies 2022)

This post will perhaps be the shortest yet, and maybe the shortest there will be. I spent a good chunk of today playing Kirby and the Forgotten Land, then what I originally intended to watch ended up becoming unavailable. Thus, I settled on The French Dispatch. (The other film was a Wes Anderson picture, too, so it worked out.)

Copy-Pasted Synopsis

A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in ‘The French Dispatch Magazine’.” – IMDb

Actual Lazy Review

I’ll keep it relatively blunt: This is the worst Wes Anderson film thus far for me. Having seen five others besides this (including a couple in prior Marches), this doesn’t quite live up to the generally nice burst of entertainment his films provide. The reason? Lack of cohesion.

The French Dispatch is a story about stories, provided by journalists of a particular publication. Most are at least passable, though the first major scenario, involving a psychopathic artist, is by far the best of the bunch. From that point, unfortunately, it loses a lot of luster. Good performances and some neat execution of shots and scenes don’t really do much with what has always been an issue with Anderson films for me: emotional provocation.

A lot of common criticism I see of this particular piece is “Why should I care?” It’s easy to agree with them. These stories—almost entirely isolated from one another, only brought together by a single publication—are simply short stories put to screen without much of a common point. Why should you care? Because they’re interesting… I guess. It’s quirky and fun, but that tends to be a lot of what Anderson is. If that doesn’t appeal to you in explicit portions, this won’t be a riveting viewing.

A haunting gaze.

Conclusion

Those fond of the style from this director will be all but assured to enjoy this. I, as a passive but endowed supporter, still found some worth to this… only in parts. The whole left a lot to be desired, especially when it seemed to peak so early. It won’t detract me from seeing future films… only there are better ones currently available.

Final Score: 6/10

The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.

For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!

Thank you for your time. Have a great timezone.

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