You may have heard that Film Twitter’s favorite Patron of Quirk, Wes Anderson, is back with a new film this year called The French Dispatch, a return to live action after taking a brief detour with 2018’s animated Isle of Dogs. Reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival have ratcheted up anticipation even higher, praising the distinctive auteur’s typically earnest approach, ambitious style, and masterful grasp of tone.
Now, we can whet appetites even further with the newest clip released for the upcoming film, centering on a steamy (pun absolutely intended) interaction between a very unclothed Timothée Chalamet in the bath and Frances McDormand. Take a look for yourself.
The French Dispatch Clip
To set the scene, The French Dispatch is very much an anthology film with each chapter dealing with its own specific storyline. As you may have gathered from this clip, this sequence revolves around a group of protestors — McDormand’s Lucinda Krementz has apparently just been tear-gassed (and is also sad, but most definitely not lonely) — during student riots in 1960s France. Zeffirelli (Chalamet) is boasting about his revolutionary manifesto, but Mrs. Krementz is…unimpressed, to say the least, and subsequently gets to work correcting typos and offering pointed critiques. Editors: can’t live with them and can’t live without ’em, am I right?
As one of those dorks who tries to avoid trailers for movies I know I’m going to watch, I have to admit I caved with this clip and am mildly blown away by just how well both McDormand and Chalamet acquit themselves with Anderson’s bone-dry dialogue and utterly deadpan sense of humor. Of course, this isn’t McDormand’s first go-around in a Wes Anderson film, as the popular actor also starred in the delightful Moonrise Kingdom, but Chalamet carries himself as if he were a longtime Anderson muse and seamlessly slides into this sneakily demanding role.
Anderson has previously described his approach to this film, saying:
“The story is not easy to explain. [It’s about an] American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine. It is more a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. It’s not a movie about freedom of the press, but when you talk about reporters you also talk about what’s going on in the real world.”
As /Film’s Jason Gorber puts it in his review out of Cannes, “It’s a film that weaponizes whimsy in ways that will dazzle die-hard fans of the director. As long as your heart is open, your ears attuned to the pace of the proceedings and eyes accustomed to this mode of staging, you’ll have a quite remarkable experience gorging on this gorgeous film.”
Featuring an endlessly talented cast including (but not limited to) Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, McDormand, Adrien Brody, Benicio Del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, Léa Seydoux, Chalamet, Elisabeth Moss, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Christophe Waltz, and Jason Schwartzman, The French Dispatch arrives at a theater near you on July 24, 2020.
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