peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 01 18 TheFrenchDispatch

The French Dispatch (2021)

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Odeon 5, 17.30 session (the only one for the day this late in the run), cinema 2. I used one of my Service NSW "Discover" 25.00 AUD pork barrel vouchers. The way that worked was that they charged 18.50 AUD (despite their pricing page suggesting it should have been 13.50 AUD, this being a Tuesday), and did not offer but also did not begrudge me a bag of Maltesers for notionally 6.00 AUD. This made me suspect that businesses are getting the full 25.00 AUD of pork whatever they provide in return. The cinema was busier than I expected — perhaps 10 people in there with me. I asked to sit down the front and got given seat E5. I ended up in C5, with little leg room. The place was built for the crowds who no longer come.

Well, this is the latest from Wes Anderson. Notionally a love letter to mid-twentieth-century Francophilic long-form journalism (think the New Yorker). Most of the sprawling cast have worked with him before. There's a frame and three episodes. Vast tracks are tedious. As usual it visually overflows.

All reviews are wordy. A. O. Scott: the democratic, sophisticated, American-cosmopolitan thing to do is buy art and ship it to Kansas. Dana Stevens: we say fractal, they said mise en abyme. She'd've been happier watching it on something with a freeze-frame function. Sandra Hall: "The overall effect of all this is a particularly whimsical form of escapism — as if an excessive knowledge of reality has brought on a state of nostalgia for a world that never was." And so on.