Cannes Film Fest 2021: Anderson’s French Dispatch World Premieres on the Croisette

‘French Dispatch’ Dazzles Cannes With Party Bus and Long Standing Ovatio

The streets near the Palais were shut down, while the crowds were screaming.

There were so many movie stars at the premiere of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” on Monday night.

Timothee Chalamet, in a silver suit, signed autographs and took selfies with fans, as he playfully stuck out his tongue.

The French Dispatch had earned one of the longest standing ovations so far at the 74th edition of Cannes.

The applause continued for 9 minutes for Anderson and his cast, which included Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Stephen Park, Benicio Del Toro and Chalamet.

One actor couldn’t make the trip. Lea Seydoux was absent from the premiere, as she’s Quarantining in Paris after positive COVID-19 test

The film tells the story of a weekly magazine that covers global politics, culture, art and food in a special interest section of a daily newspaper from Kansas.
Murray plays a devout editor to some expatriate writers who must prepare their final collection of stories.
Through the feature write-ups, comic strips and pictorials, Anderson weaves several vignettes and plot threads.

Instead of a black car, the cast arrived together in giant gold party bus, escorted by French motorcycle police. Murray took off his mask, which had an imprint of a chin on it, basking in the flashing lights.

Anderson stopped his ensemble at the bottom of the carpet to take a group photo. Many of the actors also seemed to be doing their own camera work. Wilson filmed the crowds at the bottom of the carpet, and Brody pulled in Chalamet for seflie at the top of the stairs.

Swinton, who has five movies playing at Cannes, wore a pink gown with shimmering gold sequin-covered sleeves. Chalamet leaned his head on her shoulder.

Once Anderson entered the theater, the Cannes crowd welcomed him with rapturous standing ovation.

Chalamet and Swinton held hands walking down the aisle, and he mouthed “Queens baby!” to the cameras as he clapped along.

The film is a love letter to journalism, although ironically Anderson declined to hold press conference with his cast as is tradition for in-competition films–or conduct any interviews with reporters in Cannes.

The end credits are dedicated to the editors and writers that inspired the film, among them The New Yorker’s Harold Ross, William Shawn, Lillian Ross and Janet Flanner; James Baldwin; Ved Mehta.

After the lights went back up, Murray walked from seat to seat hugging every person in the cast. And the Chalamet-Swinton show continued — he held up the piece of paper with her name on it, which had been attached to her seat. She took from him and stuck it on his back.

“I hope we come back with another one soon,” Anderson said in brief remarks to the crowd. “Thank you.” As he tried to leave the theater, the audience inside the Palais continued to shower him with more applause.

“The French Dispatch” was acquired by Searchlight in September 2019 and was meant to play Cannes 2020 — which was scrapped as a result of the global pandemic. The release date was pushed to October 2020 only to be delayed again.

The movie is now scheduled to open in theaters in the U.S. on October 22.