18 Jun 2023

Asteroid City - A Satire of the Theater World and America

In his characteristic style, Wes Anderson returns with a new film in effervescent colors, with a captivating soundtrack and sharp, highly detailed dialogues full of cultural references. The filmmaker once again employs the narrative within a narrative device and sets the action in Asteroid City, which had its world premiere at Cannes this year.

The film is presented in two distinct chromatic planes: the colorful one of the theater performance being rehearsed, and the black and white one behind the scenes. The typical humor is not absent either. The protagonist's daughters are named after constellations, one of the characters goes by the name of Mercedes Ford, and the vending machine selling land is one of Wes Anderson's quirkiest inventions.

The artistic creation itself forms a cohesive whole that can be followed independently of the context of the actors and directors behind it. Asteroid City is the town where the action takes place and where the astronomy convention attended by the characters is held—a group of intellectually gifted young individuals, accompanied by their parents. Each of them arrives there with their own dramas and problems, and love stories unfold for both generations.

Everything changes when an extraterrestrial being, smiling in photographs, appears out of nowhere to steal the asteroid after which the town is named, while the authorities shamelessly attempt to cover up an event witnessed by dozens of people. With an exceptional cast including Jason Schwartzman - Anderson's recurring actor, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, and Margot Robbie, Asteroid City outlines a sharp irony directed at the government and the art industry.