Timothee Chalamet and Tilda Swinton attend the "The French Dispatch" photocall during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 13, 2021 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

The French Dispatch: everything we know so far about Wes Anderson’s new movie

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Timothée Chalamet teams up with Tilda Swinton for Wes Anderson’s dreamy-looking The French Dispatch. And critics at the Cannes Film Festival are obsessed

Updated on 14 July: The internet is buzzing about Wes Anderson’s upcoming film The French Dispatch, and no wonder: it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week and received one of the longest rounds of applause at the event’s 74th edition.

Indeed, as per Variety’s report, the applause continued for nine minutes for Anderson and his cast in attendance, which included Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Stephen Park, and Benicio Del Toro.

Lea Seydoux, sadly, was absent from the premiere, as she’s quarantining in Paris after a positive Covid-19 test.

Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch
The French Dispatch has become the talk of Cannes 2021.

The movie, which has been described as a “love letter to journalism,” ends with a list of real life editors and writers that inspired the film, including The New Yorker’s Harold Ross, William Shawn, Lillian Ross and Janet Flanner; James Baldwin; Ved Mehta and more.

And critics have been falling over themselves to pile praise upon it, stoking the fires of excitement in the hearts of longstanding Anderson fans in the process.

Of course, the film has already won hearts on social media – primarily because it stars a moustached Chalamet, who is gearing up to set hearts aflutter once again as Zeffirelli, a passionate student revolutionary involved in a struggle. 

As reported on 13 February 2020: Naturally, Twitter is very excited about this.

“I NEED TO LIVE TO WATCH THE FRENCH DISPATCH BECAUSE I NEED TO WITNESS TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET AND LEA SEYDOUX TO BE ON ONE FRAME,” wrote one, using caps lock to hammer home her point in a big way.

“Timothée’s moustache,” another said, alongside a string of heart-eyed emojis.

And another joked: “Convince me that Timothée Chalamet’s hair isn’t its own character in The French Dispatch. You can’t.”

The simplest (and thus our favourite) reaction, though, involved a perfectly-selected screenshot of Chalamet as Laurie in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.

Check it out:

Chalamet’s presence aside, though, what else do we know about Wes Anderson’s star-studded movie?

Here’s everything we’ve learned so far…

Is there a trailer for The French Dispatch?

Of course there is, and it’s beautiful. As well as Anderson’s usual precise symmetry, bold colour palettes (mustard looks set to be big in this movie) and eye-catching backdrops, you have a star-studded roster of lovable (yet deeply quixotic) heroes, too.

Check it out:

Who stars in The French Dispatch?

Erm, pretty much everyone Anderson has ever worked with, ever. The cast features such big names as Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Anjelica Huston, Bob Balaban and Jason Schwartzman. 

Phew. As is always the case with an Anderson film, though, that’s barely skimming the surface. Indeed, Chalamet is set to be joined by a few other Anderson newcomers, and we have a feeling that the talented Elisabeth Moss, Christoph Waltz, Benicio Del Toro, Steve Park and Jeffrey Wright are absolutely going to hold their own in this dreamy flick.

What’s The French Dispatch about?

According to the film’s synopsis, the The French Dispatch follows the staff of a European publication as they publish a memorial edition. Highlighting the three best stories from the last decade, they take a closer look at an artist sentenced to life imprisonment, the student riots, and a kidnapping resolved by a chef.

Yeah, but what’s The French Dispatch ACTUALLY about?

Looking for symbolism, eh? We get you. Especially as Anderson has declared that this film will serve as a “love letter to journalists”.

So what’s he said?

“[The French Dispatch] is about an American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine,” explains Anderson. “It is more a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. [And] 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.”

Is The French Dispatch based on a true story? 

Not exactly, but Anderson has alluded to the fact that the titular paper of his film is heavily inspired by The New Yorker. And some scenes in the film are loosely based on real-world events: Chalamet’s character, for example, partakes in protests based on France’s May ‘68 strikes.

Where and when can I watch The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch will arrive in cinemas worldwide this July. Anyone else excited?

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Images: 20th Century Fox

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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