Copyright Notice: It’s easy to see when our selected quotes have been copied and pasted, as you’re also copying our format, mistakes, and movie scene descriptions. If you decide to copy from us please be kind and either link back, or refer back to our site. Please check out our copyright policies here. Thanks!
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Steve Park, Mathieu Amalric, Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Anjelica Huston
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Comedy drama written and directed by Wes Anderson. The French Dispatch (2021) is a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city centering on three storylines that bring to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch” magazine.
Our Favortie Quotes:'People may or may not be mildly threatened by your anger, your hatred, your pride. But love the wrong way, and you will find yourself in great jeopardy.' - Roebuck Wright (The French Dispatch) Click To Tweet
Narrator: It began as a holiday. Arthur Howitzer, Jr., college freshman, eager to escape a bright future on the Great Plains, convinced his father, proprietor of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, to fund his transatlantic passage as an educational opportunity to learn the family business through the production of a series of travelogue columns to be published for local readers in the Sunday Picnic magazine.
Narrator: Over the next ten years, he assembled a team of the best expatriate journalists of his time, and transformed Picnic into The French Dispatch, a factual weekly report on the subjects of world politics, the arts, high and low, fashion, fancy cuisine, fine drink, and diverse stories of human interests set in faraway quartiers. He brought the world to Kansas.
Narrator: His writers line the spines of every good American library. Berensen, Sazerac, Krementz, Roebuck Wright. One reporter known as the best living writer in quality of sentences per minute. One who never completed a single article, but haunted the halls cheerily for three decades. One privately blind writer who wrote keenly through the eyes of others.
Narrator: His most repeated literary advice, perhaps apocryphal, was simply this…
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: Just try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose.
Narrator: In his will, he stipulated that immediately upon his death, quote…
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: The presses will be dismantled and liquefied. The editorial offices will be vacated and sold. The staff will be paid ample bonuses and released from their contracts, and the publication of the magazine will permanently cease.
Narrator: Thus, the publisher’s obituary will also serve as that of this publication. All home delivery readers will, of course, be refunded, pro rata for the unfulfilled portion of their subscriptions. His epitaph will be taken verbatim from the stenciled shingle fixed above the door of his inner office.
Alumna: Berensen’s article. The Concrete Masterpiece.
Proofreader: Three dangling participles, two split infinitives, and nine spelling errors in the first sentence alone.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: Some of those are intentional.
Alumna: The Krementz story, Revisions to a Manifesto.
Story Editor: We asked for twenty-five hundred words, and she came in at fourteen thousand, plus footnotes, endnotes, a glossary, and two epilogues.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: It’s one of her best.
Legal Advisor: Impossible to fact-check. He changes all the names, and only writes about hobos, pimps, and junkies.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: These are his people.
Alumna: How about Roebuck Wright?
Cheery Writer: His door’s locked, but I could hear the keys clacking.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: Don’t rush him.
Mitch-Mitch: A message from the foreman. One hour to press.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: You’re fired.
Mitch-Mitch: [upset] Really?
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: Don’t cry in my office.
[the assistant looks up to see “No Crying” written above the office door]
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: Shrink the masthead, cut some ads, and tell the foreman to buy more paper. I’m not killing anybody.
Narrator: These were his people.
“The Cycling Reporter”
Herbsaint Sazerac: All grand beauties withhold their deepest secrets.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: “Rats, vermin, gigolos, streetwalkers.” You don’t think it’s almost too seedy this time?
Herbsaint Sazerac: No, I don’t.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: For decent people?
Herbsaint Sazerac: It’s supposed to be charming.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: “Pick-pockets, dead bodies, prisons, urinals.” You don’t want to add a flower shop, or an art museum?
Herbsaint Sazerac: No, I don’t.
Arthur Howitzer, Jr.: A pretty place of some kind?
Herbsaint Sazerac: I hate flowers.
“The Concrete Masterpiece”
Julian Cadazio: Simone, Naked. Cell Block J. Hobby Room. I want to buy it.
Moses Rosenthaler: Why?
Julian Cadazio: Because I like it.
Moses Rosenthaler: It’s not for sale.
Julian Cadazio: Yes, it is.
Moses Rosenthaler: No, it isn’t.
Julian Cadazio: Yes, it is.
Julian Cadazio: All artists sell all their work. It’s what makes you an artist. Selling it. If you don’t wish to sell it, don’t paint it. Question is, what’s your price?
Moses Rosenthaler: Fifty cigarettes. Actually, make it seventy-five.
'All grand beauties withhold their deepest secrets.' - Herbsaint Sazerac (The French Dispatch) Click To Tweet
Julian Cadazio: [to Rosenthaler] I want to pay you two hundred and fifty thousand francs in legal French tender. Do we agree on the sale? Uh-huh. I can only offer a deposit of eighty-three centimes, one candied chestnut, and four cigarettes. Everything I have at this present moment in time. However, if you’ll accept my signatory voucher, I assure you a check for the outstanding balance will be remitted to your account within ninety days. Where do you bank? Never mind.
Julian Cadazio: [to Rosenthaler] How did you learn to do it, by the way? Paint this kind of picture. Also, who did you murder, and how crazy are you, really? I need background information so that we can do a book about you. It makes you more important.
J.K.L. Berensen: Born rich, the son of a Jewish-Mexican horse rancher, Miguel Sebastian Maria Moises de Rosenthaler trained at the Ecole des Antiquites at significant family expense. But, by the end of his youth, he had shed all the luxuries of his comfortable background and replaced them with Squalor. Hunger. Loneliness. Physical danger. Mental illness. And, of course, criminal violence.
Moses Rosenthaler: Well, I’ve been here three thousand six hundred and forty-seven days and nights. Another fourteen thousand six hundred and three to go. I drink fourteen pints of mouthwash rations per week. At that rate, I think I’m going to poison myself to death before I ever get to see the world again, which makes me feel very sad. I got to change my program. I got to go in a new direction. Anything I can do to keep my hands busy, I’m going to do. Otherwise, I think maybe it’s going to be a suicide. And that’s why I signed up for clay pottery and basket weaving.
J.K.L. Berensen: [referring to Simone] Certain women do gravitate toward incarcerated men. It’s a recognized condition. Something about the captivity of others enhances the experience of their own freedom. I assure you, it’s erotic.
J.K.L. Berensen: Simone, of course, refused all Rosenthaler’s entreaties of marriage, which, we are told, were frequent, and marvelously enthusiastic.
Julian Cadazio: Modern art. Our specialty, starting now.
Uncle Joe: I don’t get it.
Julian Cadazio: Of course you don’t.
Uncle Joe: Am I too old?
Julian Cadazio: Of course you are.
Uncle Nick: [referring to the painting] Why is this good?
Julian Cadazio: It isn’t good. Wrong idea.
Uncle Joe: That’s no answer.
Julian Cadazio: My point. You see the girl in it?
Uncle Nick: No.
Julian Cadazio: Trust me, she’s there.
Chief Magistrate: Mr. Rosenthaler, why should we put you back on the street?
Moses Rosenthaler: Because it was an accident, Your Honor. I didn’t intend to kill anybody.
Chief Magistrate: You decapitated two bartenders with a meat saw.
Moses Rosenthaler: The first bartender was an accident. The second one was self-defense.
Chief Magistrate: Well, be that as it may, what demonstration of genuine remorse, or, at the very least, regret can you offer for beheading these men?
Moses Rosenthaler: They had it coming.
Julian Cadazio: [referring to Rosenthaler] We all know this man is a murderer. Totally guilty of first-degree homicide, any way you slice it. That’s a given. However, he’s also that rare once in a generation guy that you hear about, but never get the chance to discover for yourself. An artistic genius. Surely, there ought to be a double standard for this sort of predicament. Supposedly, he’s a psychotic, by the way. That’s not his fault. Respectfully, I submit maybe we could think up some other way to punish him?
J.K.L. Berensen: Rosenthaler’s right to petition for parole was permanently revoked for the duration of his sentence.
Simone: What’s wrong with you? Go back to work.
Moses Rosenthaler: I can’t. I won’t. It’s too hard. It’s torture. I’m literally a tortured artist.