‘The French Dispatch’: Everything you need to know
If you look up the word auteur in the dictionary, a collage of Wes Anderson’s finest shots appears next to it. Rumor even has it if you say his name three times while looking in a mirror, your bathroom transforms into The Grand Budapest Hotel. Joking aside, director Wes Anderson has such a distinct filmmaking style, even people who aren’t into indie films find themselves drawn into his quirky, colorful settings.
From the perfect forest for a romantic scouting trip in Moonrise Kingdom, to the trash-filled dog haven in Isle of Dogs, the production value on Anderson’s films is just as high as the story being told. But somehow, Wes Anderson may have outdone himself once again based on the first trailer for his new film, The French Dispatch.
When Anderson decides to turn his love of The New Yorker into a film, you know it’s going to be good. Enter The French Dispatch, the latest film coming from Fox Searchlight Pictures and the mind of Anderson and his frequent collaborators. With his biggest cast to date, Anderson has brought together some of Hollywood’s brightest stars to help tell his love story of American journalists.
How big of a cast are we talking about?
Some familiar faces are definitely making their return to the Wes Anderson cinematic universe. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Edward Norton all are back again for The French Dispatch. Murray, in particular, is playing the star editor who created The French Dispatch newspaper, Arthur Howitzer Jr, who’s based on New Yorker co-founder Harold Ross.
Wilson is Herbsaint Salzerac, a staff writer for The French Dispatch based on real-life journalist Joseph Mitchell. Schwartzman and Norton have both been cast in supporting, undisclosed roles at this time. But the cast gets so much larger than just those four returning collaborators.
33 other actors in lead and supporting roles
Leading the paper with Salzerac and Howitzer are journalists J.K.L. Berensen (Tilda Swinton), Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand), and Roebuck Wright (Jeffery Wright). Additional members of the staff are set to be played by Elizabeth Moss, Fisher Stevens, Griffin Dunne, and Wally Wolodarsky.
The French Dispatch is structured around three articles written by the paper’s journalists. Berensen focuses on a piece on art dealer Julien Cadazio (Adam Brody), and Moses Rosenthaler (Benicio del Toro), an incarcerated artist and Rosenthaler’s muse, Simone (Lea Seydoux. Cadazio is based on Lord Duveen, who was covered in a 6-part series in The New Yorker.
Krementz beat has her following three student revolutionists, Zeffirelli (Timothée Chalamet), Mitch Mitch (Mohamed Belhadjine), and Juliette (Lyna Khoudri). The students are fighting against capitalism and consumerism, similar to the May 68 protests in France. Krementz piece is based on Mavis Gallant’s coverage of the protests.
On top of all of those roles, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Lois Smith, Christoph Waltz, Henry Winkler, Bob Balaban, Saoirse Ronan, Liev Schreiber, Willem Dafoe, Cecile de France, Guillaume Gallienne, Tony Revolori, Rupert Friend, Hippolyte Girardot, Anjelica Huston, Denis Menochet, Benjamin Lavernhe, Vincent Macaigne, Felix Moati, Kate Winslet, and Alex Lawther are all in the film in undisclosed supporting roles.
You thought we were kidding when we said there’s a whole lot of people in The French Dispatch.
Frequent collaborators behind the scenes and in front of the camera
Returning to the Wes Anderson cinematic world are co-writers Jason Schwartzman, Hugo Guinness, and Roman Coppola, composer Alexandre Desplat, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, and producers Jeremy Dawson and Steven Rales with his production company Indian Paintbrush.
Reactions to the trailer already have people pointing out how The French Dispatch is set to out Wes Anderson his past films, even The Grand Budapest Hotel. Thanks to a behind the scenes crew that knows Wes Anderson’s style like the back of their hands, as well as several actors who are making an appearance in his latest film, the French Dispatch might just be the most Wes Anderson we’ve seen yet.
Is The French Dispatch getting a wide release?
As of late, Wes Anderson’s films do get a wide release from Fox Searchlight Pictures. Earlier films like Rushmore and The Life Aquatic were given a limited release for a few weeks. However, since Fantastic Mr. Fox, each of Anderson’s films got a wide release after a few weeks of limited release.
With such a huge cast and after the success of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs, The French Dispatch should get a wide release.
The French Dispatch will be released in US theaters on July 24th.