As of yet, we know only a few scant details about Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic endeavor, The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun. We know that it takes place in an unnamed city—likely a fictional one, if the use of setting of “Zubrowka” in Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is any indication—in 20th century France. (And if ever there was a theme and setting that seemed to befit the aesthetic of filmmaker, it’s 20th century France.) And we know that it will follow the exploits of a group of upstart journalists, led by an American expat played by Bill Murray.
But for any more than that, we’ll have to look at the film’s poster, which hit the web on Tuesday morning, gracing onlookers with a bounty of beautifully illustrated detail.
Murray commands, as all signs indicate, a rinky-dink operation of a local newspaper, evidently staffed with the likes of Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and Jeffrey Wright. One floor below in the same building, an assortment of familiar faces minds their respective businesses. Adrien Brody could be playing anything from a stuffed shirt accountant to a conniving counterfeiter; Benicio del Toro is depicted as a painter—knowing Benicio del Toro, most likely a temperamental one. Out on the balcony, Owen Wilson tops a bicycle and sports a camera, perhaps suggesting that he’s a photographer for Murray’s operation.
When our eye strays from this corner of the poster, questions and curiosities seem to increase exponentially. On the ground floor of Murray and company’s building, Léa Seydoux showcases an outfit suggesting she is an officer of the law; as a matter of fact, the police are spotted a number of times throughout the poster, predominantly in the form of cop cars zooming down the winding city streets.
Coupled with the sight of a hearse couriering a corpse, we can guess that the film will center around a death—better yet, a murder?—better yet, a murder mystery!—and that perhaps the eponymous French Dispatch will make it their business to investigate the case.
It’s a bit tougher to discern where some other of the poster’s accoutrement fit into this equation. For instance, the butcher shop in the middle of the image and its collective of blood-soaked proprietors. If we let our imaginations run wild (and isn’t that the point?), we might allow for the assumption that something a bit grislier than chopping beef is going on behind closed doors. This scheme may even go so far as to incorporate the restaurant at the forefront of the poster, wherein chef Stephen Park prepares a meal for customer Mathieu Amalric.
As for the rest? It’s a bit tough to tell. Where does the café factor into things? What will motorist Lyna Khoudri get up to? And are we to expect that Timothée Chalamet will be spending the duration of The French Dispatch in a bathtub? These are the questions buzzing about in our head. Luckily, a trailer is hitting the ‘net on Wednesday, so a few of ‘em might just earn answers then!
Featured Image: Searchlight Pictures