An overwhelmingly A-list cast populate Wes Anderson's postcard-perfect feature, set in a fictional desert town in 1950s America.
A great return to form for Wes Anderson... This feels like his best movie since Moonrise Kingdom.
Asteroid City – an isolated desert town located near a nuclear testing site — is the unlikely host of the 1955 Junior Stargazer convention. A recent widower (Jason Schwartzman) and his four children are the first to arrive, by way of a broken-down car towed by the local mechanic. However soon, the town with a population of 87, is abuzz with parents from around the country and their scientifically-minded children looking for fellowship and a bit of healthy scholarly competition, until a major event disrupts their plans.
Leaning more heavily than usual into the artifice of uber-stylised production design, and filmed on cameras traversing the streetscape (singular) with overtly mechanical tracking shots, Wes Anderson's eleventh feature film could be the director's most emblematic to date.
Shot like a mid-century American postcard, the town of Asteroid City is the star of the film here, which is saying a lot considering the overwhelming star power of the cast. Schwartzman is joined by Tom Hanks, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, and Maya Hawke, which barely scratches the surface of the A-list cast. So effective is the casting of the film, that each character feels instantly familiar, friendly, and approachable, befitting the picture-perfect setting, albeit with nuclear testing site down the road.
Asteroid City premiered in competition at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.
– Reece Goodwin (Curator, Film & TV)
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