It is almost an understatement to say that Wes Anderson’s newest film The French Dispatch is star-studded. The cast is full of Hollywood’s most adored actors playing a slew of intricate characters. Even with so many personalities spread across multiple different stories, it is easy to appreciate the Wes Anderson charm that the actors bring to the lively collection of characters.
Whether it be for selfless acts of bravery or for simply being hilariously entertaining, these characters of The French Dispatch will be remembered as the most likable. However, some are far more commendable for their actions than others.
11 Moses Rosenthaler
As the subject of his story, it’s easy for audiences to root for Moses Rosenthaler. He is one of the most entertaining and complex characters within The French Dispatch. He has a moving backstory and many hilarious lines of dialogue, and creatives might also appreciate Moses for his abstract artwork.
While Moses is definitely intriguing, he does have his faults. He often puts Simone in what could be considered distressing situations, such as the time when he hooked himself up to the electric chair and asked to be electrocuted. And despite clearly changing his ways during his time in prison, it should be noted that he did once commit two murders.
Being the revolutionary that Juliette is, it’s hard not to appreciate someone who dedicates her life to fighting for human rights. Out of all the characters in her story, she pushes the hardest for actual change.
At the same time, however, Juliette but can be a bit unruly in her approach. One of her main character traits is that she loves to argue for no seemingly no reason, just for the sake of opposing the majority. She constantly undermines Zeffirelli’s leadership, but this is also because she’d perhaps be a much better leader herself.
Simone is the prison guard who falls in love with Moses Rosenthaler. On the surface, Simone is quite stern and stone-faced. Initially, these traits could make her seem unlikable upon a first impression.
However, Simone is unapologetic and unafraid to express herself. She is always blunt with Moses about his artistic ability and is the sole reason his final piece gets finished at all. Simone’s dedication to Moses and his art is incredibly admirable, and she is undoubtedly the unsung hero of his success story.
8 J. K. L. Berensen
Tilda Swinton’s character J. K. L. Berensen is definitely one of the most entertaining of the film’s ensemble. The delivery of her story is hilariously executed, and her quintessential Wes Anderson-like costume design makes her incredibly memorable.
And yet, when considering how Moses Rosenthaler’s story ends, it is a bit tragic that J. K. L. Berensen took his art pieces to make a profit off of them. For some, this could make J. K. L. a bit less likable.
7 Herbsaint Sazerac
Recurring Wes Anderson collaborator Owen Wilson plays Herbsaint Sazerac, one of the contributing writers to the French Dispatch magazine. He is a great narrator of his detailed piece, making his segment highly engaging and entertaining for audiences.
While there really is nothing inherently unlikable bout Herbsaint, he does focus more on the negative aspects of the city he reviews in his magazine entry. Some viewers might agree with Arthur that Herbsaint could instead paint the city in a better light.
Zeffirelli is an all-around agreeable man. He is a leader of a youth revolution, writes a manifesto for the cause, and even finds love in two different characters. And in an incredibly commendable act of bravery, Zeffirelli dies a hero when he tries to fix the broadcast tower in order to spread a message of justice via radio.
However, is qualities are slightly less redeeming when considering that he abandoned his family in order to fight in the revolution. Even though his parents clearly cared for Zeffirelli, he did not show that compassion back to them.
5 Lucinda Krementz
Lucinda Krementz is another unapologetic character in The French Dispatch. She knows what she likes, as exhibited in her complaints during dinner with Zeffirelli’s family, and she’s confident in her talents, as displayed through her writing ability.
While her straightforward attitude might sometimes come off as a bit harsh, Lucinda clearly just wants the best for Zeffirelli. She goes out of her way to revise his manifesto so that it sounds more professional, and she even writes about him for the magazine after his death which showcases her kindness.
4 Arthur Howitzer Jr
In on-brand Wes Anderson fashion, Bill Murray plays the film’s centerpiece character. Arthur Howitzer Jr is the publisher of the French Dispatch magazine, otherwise known as the one who brings every individual anthology story together.
Arthur is incredibly supportive of his writers. He even hires Roebuck Wright while he serves time in a jail cell, offering him a new, hopeful opportunity after his low point. It’s clear that Arthur was adored by his staff given their reactions after his death, but at the same time, he also could have been a bit more sympathetic for others had he not had his “no crying” rule.
3 Lieutenant Nescaffier
Lieutenant Nescaffier is perhaps the most selfless character in The French Dispatch. He almost singlehandedly saves Gabriel by delivering poison to the kidnappers, and he even consumes it himself to convince the assailants to eat the poisoned food. It’s hard not to like someone who would take such a risk in order to save the lives of others.
On top of his dedication to saving Gabriel’s life, Nescaffier is praised by fellow characters for his impeccable cooking. Of course, audiences cannot have that opinion themselves, but still, it is easy to like someone who is liked by others.
Gabriel is The Commissaire’s kidnapped child. Despite being thrust into a terrifying scenario, Gabriel keeps his cool. He was essentially raised as a detective himself and is arguably the most intelligent character in the Wes Anderson film. From using morse code to communicate to seemingly proposing the poison idea for his rescue, Gabriel can easily be adored for his smarts.
Based on his impeccable skills alone, Gabriel could even be the star of his own film. Had audiences gotten more time with Gabriel, he would probably prove to be even more likable than he already is.
1 Roebuck Wright
Roebuck Wright is a very compassionate and vulnerable character in The French Dispatch. Throughout the telling of his story, he showed immense sympathy and admiration for the subjects of the piece. He sets professional boundaries for himself while on the talk show, but still keeps it real while explaining his experience.
Roebuck was also the first character to start writing Arthur’s obituary at the end of the film which shows just how good of a person he truly is. Based on his interaction with others throughout The French Dispatch, there is simply nothing to dislike about his character.