Like most of Anderson’s films, “The French Dispatch” has a unique setup. The title of the film refers to a fictional diary, and the film is divided into stories from the latest issue of that diary (via THR), including “an obituary, travel column and three feature articles”. The huge cast of “The French Dispatch” is divided into different groups for each story.
According to The New Yorker, Anderson took inspiration from a few notable places for his next film – and even adapted real stories for it. Julien Cadazio by Adrien Brody was inspired by a true art dealer named Lord Duveen, while Juliette by Lyna Khoudri and Zeffirelli by Timothée Chalamet were apparently inspired by a two-part article on the student protests of May 68. Several characters in the film are also said to have been inspired by actual staff members of The New Yorker.
Discussing the plot of “The French Dispatch” with French publication Charente Libre (via IndieWire), Anderson said: “The story is not easy to explain. [It’s about an] American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine. It is rather a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. It’s not a film about freedom of the press, but when you talk about journalists, you also talk about what is happening in the real world. “