Asteroid City - Extra-terrestrial Anderson
Written by Zoe Crombie
The concept of an ‘auteur’ – a director with near full creative control who leaves a distinct mark on every film they make – remains controversial amongst film fans, largely because it disregards the contributions of other cast and crew. But it’s hard to deny the existence of these filmmakers whose creations are so distinct that even people who barely keep up with cinema know their names. In decades gone by, we’ve had Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, and Christopher Nolan all become household names for their distinct style, and arguably the most recent to achieve this status is the master of whimsy Wes Anderson. Building up a filmography of hit after hit with modern classics like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, even across four decades of filmmaking, Anderson remains a consistent force in 21st century Hollywood.
This continues with Asteroid City, a film already bolstered by the unstoppable force of TikTok word of mouth promotion. Set firmly in the realm of 1950s space race Americana – an aesthetic Anderson surprisingly hasn’t touched before – the film follows the eccentric attendees of a Junior Stargazer convention. Anderson’s casts have always been a core part of his identity, and here he brings together his most impressive ensemble yet, with mainstays like Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray working alongside newer stars like Margot Robbie and Hong Chau.
With a meta plot that perfectly suits Anderson’s aesthetic of artifice, some of the funniest comedic moments in his filmography, and a surprisingly poignant reflection on grief, Asteroid City is a true must see this month for cinephiles and casual movie watchers alike.
Asteroid City is showing from the 7th July