We often forget that behind all his meticulous style, set design, and cinematography, Wes Anderson is a living breathing person. While his characters often have big emotions, I'm not sure I've ever seen them have the array of humanity, angst, and yearning on display in The French Dispatch.

With all that, Anderson still manages to heighten his style to a bonkers level while still making it serve the story. There are so many intricate shots and timed movements that elevate how we experience the film. 

Check out this video from Thomas Flight about those moments, and let's chat after the jump.

How Did Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch Get Intimate with the Audience?

I have to admit that Anderson is one of those filmmakers whose work I have to watch to figure out if I even like it.

The first time, it's just so easy to get lost in the camera moves and sets, that I often lose track of what the film is doing. I have to admit, I lose parts of the story as well. Lucky for me, this week I was able to watch The French Dispatch for a second time, and figured out that I find it to be one of the most intimate and intricate of his films. One I think I can safely say I love, with no caveats. 

The movie tells the story of a magazine, comparable to the New Yorker, which has just lost its famous editor. As they try to put together an issue of three stories (which we see in the movie), they also eulogize the man they knew. These heavy emotions carry over the whole movie, with themes of preconceived notions and unexpected adventures and lessons that transcend cinema and stare into our soul. 

I think the only way a journey like this would be possible is that Anderson not only spends time telling these stories but also uses precise visual elements and camera movements that build on everything you see. Whether you time them with a metronome or just watch them happen live, they feel like they have a pulse. That pulse beats like our hearts. Shots speed up when they want us to feel excited. They slow down when we are supposed to linger. They change angles for perspective, always specifically guiding us. This makes us voyeurs, like readers of The French Dispatch magazine itself. We experience the story and details as the camera and narration reveal them to us. 

This is Anderson at the height of his talents. Not just showing us what he can do that looks cool, but guiding us through some of the most superb acting and storytelling from everyone involved. We're cast into contemplation on art, a coming-of-age morality tale, and a gripping adventure underscored by grief. Each is distinctly Anderson, yet each feels different in execution. 

Let me know what you think in the comments. 

Source: Thomas Flight