dirty: Few American filmmakers today inspire such simultaneous adulation and loathing as Wes Anderson. His detractors accuse him of making quirky little dollhouses filled with anything important, and of relying on his excessive demeanor to a stifling degree; On the other hand, his fans see the value of constantly emphasizing his strengths, and the ways in which his interests and stylistic touchpoints evolve from film to film. At this point, you really either love him or hate him, or you want to have the AI moderate his style to turn your favorite franchise into whatever hilarious Anderson stereotype you like.
with Asteroid CityWith his eleventh feature, we get perhaps one of his most labyrinthinely structured confections yet. Much like Grand Budapest HotelAnd Asteroid City is a story within a story within a story, presented by Rod Serling as the narrator (Bryan Cranston) who speaks to us through a re-enactment of “You’re There” by creating a play called “Asteroid City.”
Yet we see a televised version of the same play interwoven within that novel, dressed in the bright pastels and bold lettering of a 1950s postcard. A cadre of disparate people–scientists, child geniuses, cowboys, military personnel, all played by a murderous row of Anderson regulars–gather in a small desert town for a children’s science conference, only to be interrupted by a startling event that shakes the community. He established the hearts of these explorers in more ways than one.
bottle rocket: It’s strange to call one of Wes Anderson’s films “chaos,” especially considering all the bizarre diversions and formal experiments in “Asteroid City” seem an integral part of what the guy has been up to lately. and after, Asteroid City You feel it, a bunch of interesting ideas in search of coherence.
It’s a movie about many things: On the surface, it’s a two-play on “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” by Robert Wise – Dutch Spotlight and all. There’s also a dash of Willy Wonka in his team of eccentric kids (including standouts like newcomer Jake Ryan and He. SheSophia Lillis) is accompanied by annoyed parents (including Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Hope Davis, Steve Park, and Liev Schreiber).
It is a rumination on the hopeful idealism of postwar America in the 1950s, and the House of Cards in which all this possibility remains. It smiles enchantingly at the notion that America (let’s face it, it’s mostly white) is still elated from its victory in World War II and hasn’t yet been humiliated by Vietnam. It’s also a tale of family grief, a lyrical cowboy western, and a sci-fi tale with ray guns.