The Handbook
The Handbook

If you love the melancholy of Margot Tenenbaum, the smooth suaveness of Mr Fox or the red beanie-wearing selfishness of Steve Zissou, this summer you are in for a treat.

The new Wes Anderson movie trailer has just been released and it looks like the American director has just out-Wes Anderson’d himself with what is set to be his 10th directorial hit.

The French Dispatch will launch this summer and on first impressions it looks like the most Wes Anderson film he’s ever created, from the quirky, disjointed narrative to the pastel-hued cinematography and the playful characters. We’re hooked and it’s not even out yet.

The story is set in Ennui-sur-Blasé, a fictional French town that looks like the bohemian streets of Paris’ Left Bank. While the geography might satisfy any Francophiles out there, the story line actually revolves around a weekly New Yorker-style magazine with the staff and the stories that they publish loosely inspired by the famous publication. It’s said that Anderson has been a fan of The New Yorker since his teens and houses a collection of bound volumes dating back to the 1940s.

The film has been labelled a ‘love letter to journalists’ (first time for everything) with character Arthur Howitzer Jr, played by Bill Murray, at its helm. It’s no surprise Murray’s part of the impressive cast – he’s been in eight out of 10 of Anderson’s films. In fact, I’m not entirely sure Anderson can make a film without him in anymore.

Talking of the cast, The French Dispatch does not disappoint when it comes to famous faces and cult heroes. There’s a wealth of Anderson go-tos – Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson – basically anyone with killer bone structure (plus Bill Murray). Willem Dafoe, Léa Seydoux, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Stephen Park, Elisabeth Moss… we could go on. It’s basically a who’s who of Hollywood’s coolest.

Special mention must go to Frances McDormand, who, in my opinion, should win the Academy Award for fag smoking if the trailer is anything to go by.

Plus, fast becoming the Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio of this generation, Anderson newbies Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan also star, making this their third movie together (Lady Bird and Little Women) – an Anderson debut for Chalamet but a follow up for Ronan who starred in The Grand Budapest Hotel, alongside Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Jude Law.

 

Aesthetically, traditionalists will be pleased to know all the Anderson idiosyncrasies are apparent in The French Dispatch – from the dysfunctional characters and relationships to the Art Nouveau colour palette, the talking-to-camera cuts, the chapter-like sections and the quirky 60s music.

From the trailer alone we can see the shoe box worlds that Anderson so masterfully creates return. From the satisfying symmetry of the town of Ennui-sur-Blasé peppered with pretty pastel touches, to the stark black and white cinematography depicting Benicio del Toro playing the incarcerated artist Moses Rosenthaler. It’s the unexpected that somehow seems so quintessentially Anderson that has fans the world over falling so hard for.

It’s a surprise Wes Anderson has never won an Oscar – much to the dismay of the diehards, although he has been nominated – but perhaps The French Dispatch could be the film to change all that.

The French Dispatch is released 24th July in the US and 28th August in the UK. Watch the trailer here…

 

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