This just in, a dispatch from Wes Anderson: the first trailer for The French Dispatch, the quirky filmmaker’s 10th feature film, has arrived.
After taking us to one uniquely Grand Budapest hotel and a Japanese island that fell to the dogs, the frequent Oscar nominee offers up a “love letter to journalists.” The film, which is based on The New Yorker, brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of a fictional American magazine, The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, published in a fictional 20th-century French city, Ennui-sur-Blasé.
Anderson previously explained that the story is 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.”
Bill Murray, a long-time Andersonian veteran, stars as the publication’s editor Arthur Howitzer Jr., a character inspired by The New Yorker‘s founding editor Harold Ross. Owen Wilson plays writer Herbsaint Sazerac, while various other members of the editorial staff are portrayed by Tilda Swinton (as writer J.K.L. Berensen), Elisabeth Moss, Fisher Stevens, Griffin Dunne, and Wally Wolodarsky (as a scribe who never finished writing a single article).
Other characters highlighted are Adrien Brody‘s art dealer Julian Cadazio (inspired by the subject of a 1951 New Yorker profile series about Lord Duveen), Lois Smith’s art collector Upshur Clampette, Henry Winkler and Bob Balaban as the uncles and business partners of Upshur, Benicio Del Toro as imprisoned artist Moses Rosenthaler, Léa Seydoux as Moses’ muse and prison guard Simone, Jeffrey Wright as journalist Roebuck Wright (a conglomerate of James Baldwin and A.J. Liebling), Frances McDormand as journalist Lucinda Krementz, and Timothée Chalamet and Lyna Khoudri as two student revolutionaries, Zeffirelli and Juliette.
As with most Anderson endeavors, that’s just skimming the surface of his ensemble cast. Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Christoph Waltz, Cecile De France, Guillaume Gallienne, Jason Schwartzman, Tony Revolori, Rupert Friend, Hippolyte Girardot, Anjelica Huston, Mathieu Amalric, and Stephen Park also feature in various roles.
Anderson has been nominated for an Oscar seven times: The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, (three for) The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs. As we move away from this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, which bestowed Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite top honors, the eyes of awards pundits for next year’s race will surely be upon this unique storyteller.
The French Dispatch will arrive in theaters this July 24.