In Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, the cinematography "is a character in and of itself"

The French Dispatch
(Image credit: Disney/Searchlight)

The long wait for Wes Anderson’s eighth live-action feature is almost over, with critics who viewed The French Dispatch (opens in new tab) at the Cannes Films Festival in July declaring it as the most Wes Anderson movie that Wes Anderson has ever made – joyous words for some; a warning to others.

Originally scheduled to open Cannes in May 2020 and hit UK cinemas that July, Anderson’s comedy-drama suffered delays due to the pandemic. It is finally making its bow in October, meaning cinemagoers will finally get to see Anderson’s most ambitious film to date, and his starriest cast, with many of the writer-director's repertory players – Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Anjelica Huston – joined by newbies such as Timothée Chalamet, Benicio Del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, Léa Seydoux, Elisabeth Moss, and Christoph Waltz.

Below is an exclusive image of Brody and Del Toro, taken from the upcoming issue of Total Film (opens in new tab):

The French Dispatch

(Image credit: Disney/Searchlight)

Inspired by The New Yorker, The French Dispatch is a dazzling tribute to journalists of a bygone era, as the titular supplement is published in the fictional French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, sometime in the mid-20th century. Its articles take in art, politics, cuisine and more, and Anderson’s movie is an anthology of stories lifted from the magazine.

One of Anderson’s many returning actors is Adrien Brody, who first collaborated with the director on 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited, then reunited with him on 2009 animation Fantastic Mr. Fox and 2014 comedy adventure The Grand Budapest Hotel. The French Dispatch sees Brody plays art dealer Julian Cadazio, and he has fond memories of the 2018 shoot in Angoulême, in southwest France. 

"It’s a very familial environment [that Anderson creates],”"Brody tells Total Film (opens in new tab). "Now more than ever, I see the value of that in our lives."

As visually ravishing and painstakingly detailed as all of Anderson’s previous movies – if not more so – The French Dispatch is, says Brody, a triumphant union of Alexandre Desplat’s music, Robert Yeoman’s cinematographer, and Adam Stockhausen’s production design.

"That is a character in and of itself," says Brody, referencing the intricacy of Yeoman’s camera moves and precise compositions. "I love how he’s created this choreography that we all have to dance together within."

The French Dispatch opens in cinemas on October 22. For more from Brody and his cast mate Benicio del Toro, get the new issue of Total Film (opens in new tab), which hits shelves on Friday, August 20. Check out the new Dune cover below, as well as the cover of the special supplement that comes with the issue. 

Total Film's Dune issue and special supplement

(Image credit: Total Film/Warner Bros)

And if you're a fan of Total Film, why not subscribe (opens in new tab) so that you never miss an issue? With the current subscription offer from MagazinesDirect (opens in new tab), you get 50% off the cover price and you'll get the issue delivered directly to your door, before it hits shelves. You'll also get exclusive subscriber only covers, like the Dune beauty below. What are you waiting for?

Total Film's subscription offer.

(Image credit: Total Film/Warner Bros/Universal)
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Freelance writer

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood.