Auteur theory – the idea that a film is the sole artistic vision of the film’s director – has increasingly come under scrutiny in recent years for how it arguably devalues the work of other creative personnel who work collaboratively on a film. The move away from seeing films as the work of one visionary possibly reflects a general broader understanding of the role that many other people play during the production of a film, but it also reflects how there are far fewer filmmakers who have a distinctive set of stylistic and thematic conventions that develop from film to film. This makes Wes Anderson something of a rarity in the current era as very few of his contemporaries can claim to have such an immediately recognisable cinematic vision. And it means that the decision about whether or not to see a Wes Anderson film is relatively easy; if you have not been able to enjoy his previous films, especially those made during the last decade, then you do not need to see his new film The French Dispatch. If, however, you do enjoy his blend of whimsy and droll humour then the good news is that The French Dispatch continues his winning streak.
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