review by Bobby Blakey
I love director Wes Anderson’s film, but they are acquired tastes in most cases. Love them or hate them there is no denying that they always stand out as unique. His latest, Asteroid City looks no different and features an all-star cast including Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, and Jeff Goldblum. Could this film be another engaging entry into Anderson’s filmography or will it miss its cue?
Asteroid City follows the itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) that is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events in a fictional American desert town circa 1955.
I knew from the first trailer I was going to love this film in some way and I wasn’t wrong. Everything about this movie is most excellent, but also an acquired taste on a lot of levels. Much like a lot of Anderson’s films it is a very unique stylized vision throughout that is a visual treat to the senses and perfection for the story they are telling. The previews just looked strange, but its meta mentality works perfectly to create something inventive and original while still having a strange familiarity to it.
The story structure is so engaging with multi-layers that take you on a fun and strange journey into these characters existence. There are some social commentaries infused in as well that mesh well with the story they are telling and the message they are conveying. It can be distracting at times, but for me
I loved the aesthetics of it all and how the simple complexities work together to create something strange, unique and all around beautiful.
The cast are excellent all around. Everyone brings a unique voice to their often times weird characters. Despite most being a very dry tone, they all still have depth and are interesting in their stories and execution. The story within a story element helps to give it some creative flair and fun engaging ways to bring the story to life that I loved. It is really hard to explain how this all works together without ruining the experience which is what this film is. I don’t want to spoil anything because the less you know the better, but it is very much like watching a theater production on a big creative scale and I hope it gets the traction it deserves.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including featurettes on bringing this unique vision to life. Grab your copy of Asteroid City available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal and Focus Features.