Three years have passed since the premiere of “Dog Island”, seven years – since Wes Anderson gathered his two favorite actors in front of the camera for the last time (“Grand Hotel Budapest”). The media has been writing about “The French Dispatch” for several years now. Back in 2018, it was said that the most recent American act would be a musical. Later, other names that the artist collected for the film began to appear. In July of this year, the picture finally appeared at the Cannes festival, and recently we were able to see it during the Polish preview on the occasion of the 12th edition of the American Film Festival in Wroclaw. How about the “French Post from Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun”?
Wes Anderson returns with a new movie. This time it’s a magazine
Anderson’s latest film is the first short film of his career. When the director was 16 years old, he discovered the New York Times – he was said to have always read the stories first. Years later, he finally decided to make a work inspired by the medium that accompanied him almost his entire life. So the main focus of the film is the “chief editor’s funeral” for a local newspaper supplement published in the fictional French city of Aene-sur-Place. Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray) decided to leave the same magazine with him. He carefully prepared the last copy with the editors as if it were his will. And remember “no crying”, discuss farewell topics in advance.
Anderson’s latest film is a showcase of the stories included in the issue. We have several thematic passages for which individual editors are responsible and a whole host of characters: a prisoner painter, a guardian feigning his actions, a young revolutionary who enters into a relationship with a journalist who edits his political manifesto, and the son of a commissioner. Kidnapped for ransom or an undercover lieutenant. Played these roles, among others Benicio Del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet and Frances McDormand are just a few of the names that scroll across the screen.
“Post France” collects big names on display. But it doesn’t give them enough space
All of Anderson’s work is highly formal. However, while I loved the protagonists of his previous films, this time I am indifferent to the characters and work of Poste Francaise.
True, this picture is spoiled by all the details – Anderson paid attention to the details, developing the storyboards, frame by frame, carefully sketching his vision. As usual, we have intense colours, numerous details and consistency. The problem is that the creator adds short, fragmented stories to the convention that is already distracting. As a result, it’s hard to really get involved in what’s happening on the screen. I feel overwhelmed, I don’t care about the characters or their stories.
The backlog of everything is huge – in the film we are dealing with, as the editor of The Independent put it in his script, with a “blink pattern and you’ll miss it”, i.e. in short, sometimes even a few seconds’ worth of Hollywood cream speeches. Some actors appear on the screen without saying a line.
But Anderson fans will surely be satisfied. “The French Letter” may become America’s greatest creativity, and he certainly aspires to the role (although doesn’t Wes really try to move forward in every subsequent movie?). It is a work that combines his greatest passions, his favorite actors and partners, created with extraordinary skill, great nostalgia and tenderness. It’s also one of the most anticipated premieres of the year, and one that’s undoubtedly worth seeing on the big screen. It is not known how long we will have to wait for the next opportunity like this, although current announcements indicate that “Asteroid City” will debut in cinemas next year.