In the 25 years since his debut Bottle Rocket, a smalltown crime comedy set in his home state of Texas, Wes Anderson has completed 10 films. Although he has an instantly recognisable visual style, returns to recurring themes and actors, enjoys a certain taste in pop culture and music and has what might be modern cinema's most deadpan sense of humour, no two of those films are really the same. After the all-animated Isle Of Dogs, a stop-motion comedy set on a trash island in Japan, Anderson returns to live action once more with another of his refined, geographically precise comedies, following firmly in the tradition of The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Darjeeling Limited.
Titled The French Dispatch, this latest film was so obviously perfect for the Cannes Film Festival that it waited patiently during a full year of lockdown to secure its premiere there. Once again, Anderson has paid attention to every detail, filling the screen with his most eclectic cast yet - regulars like Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton appear alongside newcomers Timothee Chalamet, Henry Winkler, Benicio del Toro and Christoph Waltz - in an episodic story that delivers on the expectations that every new Wes Anderson movie promises: virtuoso filmmaking with a deeply persnal signature.
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