Cannes (AP) — A year after its original premiere date at the Cannes Film Festival, Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” finally reached the French Riviera on Monday.
Anderson and the great cast hit the Cannes red carpet on the bus with Bill Murray smiling in the passenger seat. Anderson’s film, an elaborate and fanciful for “The New Yorker” magazine, features perhaps the most dazzling cast to arrive at the festival this year. Murray was accompanied by premieres Tilda Swinton, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson and – for his first carpet in Cannes – Timothée Chalamet.
Dressed in a dazzling silver suit, Chalamet – who is fluent in French – enthralls the audience by taking selfies and signing autographs.
The premiere was highly anticipated. “The French Dispatch” was selected for Cannes last year, but the festival was canceled due to the pandemic. The Searchlight Pictures film chose to wait for its release and will finally hit theaters in October.
Nevertheless, Covid-19 affected its debut. French actress Le Sedoux, one of the stars, tested positive last week while working on another film. The actress, who has been fully vaccinated and has no symptoms, is under quarantine in Paris, so she could not attend. The film will also have a somewhat discreet route through Cannes: it is the only film in competition for the Palme d’Or that will not hold a press conference.
“The French Dispatch” is an affectionate illustration from a weekly literary magazine, set in the fictional French town of Ennui-sur-Blas. It is an anthology film structured as if it were an issue of “The New Yorker”, with three separate articles, a travel report and an obituary.
Criticism of the film was mixed. Some praised Anderson’s poignant tribute to 20th-century magazine writing and complex imagery, which could have reached a new level even for him in “The French Dispatch”.
The ghost of COVID-19, fewer stars and fewer viewers are the elements that are marking the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which started its second week yesterday with some outstanding films in competition and a lot of tension in theatres.
Controls for entering the Palace of Festivals – the European certificate of vaccination or for having passed Covid in recent months and if not, test every 48 hours – are strict, but the measures inside the building are not respected is. Hence, the discussion in rooms by the recognized by habitually removing masks with.
There are already some affairs between the filmmakers and their guests, such as the wife of Israeli director Nadav Lapid – who has forced her to interview via Zoom – and actress Lee Seydoux.
Few stars farther than the other Cannes editions. Adam Driver (appeared only on the red carpet), Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Catherine Deneuve, Sean Penn and their daughters Dylan, Paul Verhoeven, Tim Roth and Vicky Cripps, are the most prominent appearances at the film festival to date.