After a tough year for Hollywood and moviegoers alike, one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2020 is finally moving ahead with its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival: Wes Anderson’s tenth feature film, The French Dispatch. Variety has reported that the film will receive its world premiere in Cannes, confirming rumors that it would return after already confirming its participation in last year’s festival before its cancellation. Unfortunately, there is no information yet about its wide release, but with a premiere in Cannes this year, it seems likely that Searchlight Pictures is looking for a fall release for awards consideration.
The French Dispatch is based on an American newspaper of the same name in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé in France, and is described as Anderson’s love letter to journalism. Like all Anderson features, there will be whimsy and quirk galore, as the film weaves together three different storylines and numerous characters, including one on the May 68 student occupation protests. This may also be the best cast Anderson has ever assembled, and just a hint at all the stars appearing in the film are: Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Elisabeth Moss, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Christopher Waltz and that’s not even the entire cast!
The trailer certainly showcases all of these fantastic actors and more, featuring Anderson’s signature pastel-inspired color palette and penchant for symmetry. Costume designer Milena Canonero makes the most of the unidentified 20th-century time period, and the production team also paint reference to several famous paintings through Anderson’s already tableau-like frames. It seems as though one of the storylines may also be in black-and-white, a first for the director but no less beautiful.
Anderson’s film is one of only three films that have been announced for the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Also premiering at Cannes is Leos Carax’s Annette, a musical drama starring Adam Driver and Marrion Cotillard that marks Carax‘s return to film nine years after Holy Motors in 2012. The only other announced film is Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta, based on the life of the nun of the same name who believes she can perform miracles and embarks on an affair with another nun. We’re sure Cannes will continue to announce some more big names and interesting films for the rest of its selection, led by jury president Spike Lee.
The French Dispatch will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July, although no specific date has yet been announced.