Asteroid City Review – FilmTotaal Review

Director: wes-anderson | Script: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola | Cast: Jason Schwartzmann (Augie Steenbeck/Jones Hall), Scarlett Johansson (Midge Campbell/Mercedes Ford), Tom Hanks (Stanley Zak), Jeffrey Wright (General Grif Gibson), Tilda Swinton (Dr. Hickenlooper), Jake Ryan (Woodrow Steenbeck), Bryan Cranston (The Host), Edward Norton (Conrad Earp), Adrien Brody (Schubert Green), Liev Schreiber (JJ Kellogg), Hope Davis (Sandy Borden), Steve Park (Roger Cho/Linus Mao), Rupert Friend (Montana/ Asquith Eden), Maya Hawke (June Douglas), Steve Carell (Motel Manager), Matt Dillon (Hank/Walter Geronimo), ea | Time to play: 104 minutes | Year: 2023

Wes Anderson has been hiding raw emotions under a cloak of artificiality for most of his work. Those emotions are usually repressed feelings of grief, loss, and love, which eventually surface anyway. In each of his films, Wes Anderson presents a completely controlled world in which the control the characters carefully try to exert over their environment slowly crumbles. That produces beautiful melancholy and emotional overflows. But what if the control goes too far and the emotion is too buried?

After the perfectly balanced masterpiece The Grand Budapest Hotel shuffled Anderson with isle of dogs in The French office step by step in that direction. asteroid city is your next step on that path. The story revolves around a new widower and his four children in the desert village of Asteroid City. They find themselves in a barrage of funny characters with funny dialogue as dry as the desert around them. There is not enough space and time for their pain to land, they are just starting to bottle up their emotions. There is no big breakthrough coming.

Even less time and space is left due to the double frame story in which the story is packed. It’s actually a play, and a narrator recalls its creation and production in a pastiche of 1950s American TV shows. This creates an extra layer that Anderson’s tender and vulnerable emotions have to cut through, but that it doesn’t really work this time. There is too little development in the dueling process and the metal layer is too thick.

that’s why he stays asteroid city somewhat distant, the emotional charge lurks below the surface and the film lacks the layers of his best previous work. The top layer is fun, beautifully designed, and packed with little details. Children in particular are funny at times, and adults are often endearingly eccentric. The situations they find themselves in are deliciously absurd, from the unusual setting for a science award for teen geniuses to the alien who accidentally turns everything upside down.

The main story in the titular town is shot in an imitation pastel Technicolor, emphasizing the yellow of the desert and the blue of the sky. An ode to the movies of the time in which the story takes place, but visually softer and more refined. The frame story is in strict black and white as seen on TV at the time. Both have matching aspect ratios. Switching between the two worlds, therefore, always feels like a harsh, unwanted one hundred and eighty degree tug. Scenes in double frame stories are often individually beautiful and/or funny, but still distract from the main part. In the end, mostly loose sand remains, which is blown into the desert by the wind.

Varsha Rai

Hi, Varsha here. I am a very passionate writer with a knack for the art of words and I hope to share my stories and information in a way that is meaningful and inspiring. At, I write mostly on latest and upcoming movies, movie reviews and everything related to movies. Catch up with me on - [email protected]
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