The 1950s-set science-fiction film focuses on a group of people who come together at a Junior Stargazing competition held in a desert town. As you'd expect from an Anderson joint, Asteroid City has an all-star cast.
This time around, we've got Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Carell, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Maya Hawke, Jeff Goldblum, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Liev Schreiber, Adrien Brody and Edward Norton — to name just a few.
Following Asteroid City's screening at Cannes, reviews from critics have started to come out. At the time of writing, the film sits at a solid 77% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here are what some of the reviews are saying:
Independent: "In its own offbeat way, Asteroid City is an Anderson patchwork of Cold War paranoia and American family values in all their often hypocritical glory. It is every bit as arch as his best work, while still managing to tug hard on the heartstrings."
Little White Lies: "Asteroid City is Anderson's most complete, rich, and surprising film to date, and perhaps his most autobiographical in some obscure, allegorical way, in that it stands as testament to how filmmaking is about bringing artists together and attuning them to a specific wavelength. On a more superficial level, it's a film which pushes his patented funny/sad dichotomy to its wildest and most enjoyable extremes."
Empire: "Asteroid City, [Anderson's] 11th feature, proves that making your film again is no bad thing when said film is always beautifully, painstakingly, lovingly crafted to within an inch of its life. (You'd never criticise Picasso for making yet another cube-y painting.) It also demonstrates that Anderson still has the capacity to surprise."
Vanity Fair: "It's as if Anderson is turning his mind back on, switch by switch, after the cataclysms of the past few years. Suddenly his old pretensions feel welcome again; here, born anew, is the purpose of his particular (and occasionally vexing) style. It's an oddly moving film, this bright and quite literally stagey curio involving an extra-terrestrial. At its best, Asteroid City evokes the memory of what it was to first see a Wes Anderson film."
The Guardian: "Asteroid City's eccentricity, its elegance, its gaiety, and its sheer profusion of detail within the tableau frame make it such a pleasure. So, too, does its dapper styling of classic American pop culture. With every new shot, your eyes dart around the screen, grabbing at all the painterly little jokes and embellishments, each getting a micro-laugh."
The Hollywood Reporter: "Schwartzman and Johansson are the movie's standouts, bringing an element of poignant yearning and subsumed hurt to their characters. But each time their thread threatens to acquire substance, Anderson cuts away to some pointless vignette or some finicky bit of business that makes the entire over-crowded gallery of characters seem remote."
IndieWire: "This is a film that sneaks up on you — that fools you into thinking it's just a scattershot collection of discrete little details and gags... Some of the bits and bobs immediately feel like top-flight Anderson, while others left me wondering if Asteroid City were spreading itself too thin to mine anything meaningful from the grief comedy at its core. But the deeper this movie disappears into itself, the more its play-like rhythms begin to create their own rhymes."
Variety: "There are the Anderson films that even most of his fans don't pretend to like all that much — the fussy, top-heavy, narratively batty yet stretched-thin concoctions like The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Asteroid City is one of those, only more so."
Asteroid City will arrive in US cinemas for a limited run on June 16 before being released in cinemas internationally starting on June 23.
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