Cinema release “The French Dispatch”: Wes Anderson’s star-studded cosmos

Cinema release “The French Dispatch”
Wes Anderson’s star-studded cosmos

Stars in pastel colors: A typical still image from a Wes Anderson film.

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Wes Anderson’s new film “The French Dispatch” starts in cinemas on October 21st. His style polarizes – but why?

Filmmaker Wes Anderson (52) is a phenomenon in several ways. As different as the stories he tells in his works are, they are united by the director’s unmistakable style. His latest film “The French Dispatch”, which will open in German cinemas on October 21, is no exception. And so the bizarre story about the employees of a revolver newspaper will once again divide the cineastes’ spirits. But what actually makes an Anderson film?

Hollywood plays along

Over the years, Anderson has gathered a considerable reservoir of world stars who apparently only have to snap his fingers to win them over to his new project. The best example of this is ghost hunter Bill Murray, 71. Since Anderson’s second feature film “Rushmore” (1998), he has been part of the cast of subsequent films. With “The French Dispatch” there are already ten joint productions in a row.

Even in Anderson’s animated films, the stars break his door down. In “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009), George Clooney (60) and Meryl Streep (72) speak to Mr. and Mrs. Fox. And in “Isle of Dogs” (2018), Bryan Cranston (65), Scarlett Johansson (36), Jeff Goldblum (68) and Edward Norton (52) lead a dog’s life. Now, in “The French Dispatch”, in addition to Bill Murray and Edward Norton, Frances McDormand (64), Léa Seydoux (36), Willem Dafoe (66), Tilda Swinton (60), Timothée Chalamet (25) and Benicio del Toro play (54), to name just a few.

One of “America’s Eccentrics”

Wes Anderson’s style is often cited as a prime example of “American Eccentric Cinema”. Names like Spike Jonze (51, “Being John Malkovich”, 1999) or Charlie Kaufman (62, “Don’t forget me!”, 2004) are also mentioned here often.

Eccentric sums up Anderson’s history quite well: his characters often behave eccentrically and often unpredictably. Often they look like exaggerated caricatures whose actions are irrational. You have to like it: viewers who are used to traditional storylines often reach their limits with the eccentric Anderson.

Fairytale to melancholy

Especially since he also knows how to underline this visually. The almost slavish symmetry in every setting and the candy-colored color design are characteristic of his work. A toy-like stage design also gives the film an infantile fairytale quality.

In this motley color palette, however, he plunges into dark themes. War times in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014), for example, abandoned orphans in “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012) – in general, the focus is almost always on a more or less broken family.

A feel-good film even without a happy ending

A feat that Anderson has mastered like no other: Even if one of his films does not have a classic happy ending, he dismisses you with a good feeling. The message of an Anderson film is always positive and says that everything will somehow turn out for the better: lonely people (or animals!) Find cohesion, aimless their destiny and years of feuds are also ended.


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