Movie Diary 11/3/2021

The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson, 2021). Overall, I liked the framing device (Bill Murray as a magazine editor in France) more than the individual stories, which take up the bulk of the running time. The first such segment is Anderson in fine form: Benicio del Toro as an inmate/artist, Lea Seydoux as his guard/muse, Tilda Swinton as their chronicler. The crew of Adrien Brody, Bob Balaban, and Henry Winkler, as businessmen who enter the art world, seem worthy of their own spin-off. The movie gets more manic as it goes along, or maybe it’s the cumulative effect of that much cuckoo-clock-making; Anderson lavishes so much attention on each frame you almost wish he’d toss off something, for a change. I enjoyed it more than some of Anderson’s cutesier films, all the more because I saw it in an actual movie theater with a regular paying audience, a novelty that enhanced the experience by a significant factor.

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