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First Reactions from Cannes Praise Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’

Journalists should be excited for The French Dispatch
Searchlight Pictures

Wes Anderson’s highly anticipated film, “The French Dispatch,” premiered at Cannes on Monday and was quickly met with several rave reviews. “The French Dispatch” is the tenth film in Anderson’s impressive catalogue, and features his most expansive cast to date — from Bill Murray to Timothée Chalamet. The film is being described as a love letter to journalists set in a French outpost of an American newspaper that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch Magazine.”

No negative reviews have come out of Cannes yet, meaning fans of Wes Anderson and the incredibly talented actors involved have something to look forward to. The general consensus is that the film is incredibly intricate, visually stunning, and generally delightful.

Tim Grierson of “Screen Daily” remarked, “the director’s 10th feature is among his most visually remarkable, each frame filled with meticulously crafted small details that add up to a dense, inviting cinematic jewel box.” Similarly, David Rooney of “The Hollywood Reporter” said the film was, “Bursting at the seams with hand-crafted visual delights and eccentric performances from a stacked ensemble entirely attuned to the writer-director’s signature wavelength, this is the film equivalent of a short story collection.”

One criticism that seems fairly common is that the film lacks the typical narrative cohesion that Anderson’s past films have possessed. Eric Kohn of “IndieWire” mentioned that Anderson seemed to be, “swapping narrative cohesion for charming small doses of wit and wonder about odd people and places worth your time.” Todd McCarthy of “Deadline” added that the, “script is technically divided into three sections, none of which you could call either coherent or credible; rather, they are flights of fancy taken to impressively unlikely extremes.”

It seems that for fans of Anderson, or lovers of journalism and the written word, “The French Dispatch” will meet any and all expectations. However, for those who are not too keen on Anderson’s style, it may be a bit much to digest.

The film was pushed back from its original release date of July 27th, 2020 due to the pandemic. It was then delayed again, and again, and again before finally landing on October 22nd, 2021 as the release date. It has been a long wait, but it looks to be a worthwhile one for moviegoers.