I finally had a chance to watch The French Dispatch over the weekend (or to be more precise, The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, to use the full title), and of all of the Wes Anderson movies that Wes Anderson has ever Wes Andersoned, that was the most Wes Andersony. And I absolutely loved it.
Anderson has been responsible for several of my all time favorite movies, and while The Life Aquatic and The Fantastic Mr. Fox probably still occupy the top spots, The French Dispatch has secured a slot somewhere very near the top of the list. It is a joyful celebration of the written word and French films and The New Yorker and the act of storytelling and the creation of art itself, and I look forward to watching it again very soon. And like all of his best movies it left me in a mood to go work on one of my own stories, the creative sparks firing off behind my eyeballs.
As is always the case with Wes Anderson movies, The French Dispatch has a fantastic soundtrack, but in addition to two accompanying album releases, one for the soundtrack and one for the original score, there is another album released in connection with the movie. Jarvis Cocker, of Pulp fame, recorded an entire album of French pop song covers in character as the fictional pop star Tip-Top who is mentioned in the film’s dialogue. I’ve only sampled the first few tracks so far, but the mere notion of an entire album of French pop songs by a fictional character from a Wes Anderson movie is probably enough to let you know if it might be for you. (And it is definitely for me…)