A beautiful poem. The new film by cult director Wes Anderson (54), "Asteroid City", is intended to remind us of this. The American wants that himself, as the news agency spot on news found out at the online press conference. And indeed, that description is very accurate. A film about a film - a play within a play. This is how the new weird work of the maker of "The French Dispatch" (2021) and "Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014) can be explained. But can "Asteroid City" keep up with the Anderson classics of recent years?
The focus of the story is actor Jason Schwartzman (42). He plays the recently widowed war photographer Augie Steenbeck. Together with his three daughters and his son, he is stuck in the 87-strong desert town of Asteroid City - after all, the hamlet was declared a restricted zone because of an imminent alien invasion. While the father-in-law - played by Tom Hanks (66), who is making his Wes Anderson debut - takes care of the grandchildren, the lonely Augie meets the actress Midge Campbell (Scarlett Johansson, 38). He still has to teach his children about the death of their mother, whose ashes have been lying in a Tupperware can in the car for days. And the alien causes problems on top of that...
The plot of "Asteroid City" can be summarized like this or something similar. However, this is only scratching the surface. As is well known, the works of Wes Anderson are complex, hilarious and, in addition to all the dark humor, also shake up the emotions. This also applies to his new work. Because in addition to the confused events, the characters that take some getting used to with the unusual names and the retro look of the film set in the 1950s, Anderson also explores the depths of people, their emotional world. How differently do people deal with grief, with loss and death? This question is central. As always, the 54-year-old manages to convey these depressing topics with charm and sympathy with the ensemble of Hollywood's finest actors.
Apart from that, "Asteroid City" is a wonderful clash between New York's Broadway and the American Wild West. Set in the 1950s, the Cold War also plays a background role, as does the fear of nuclear armament. The aversion to the stranger in combination with the fascination for the universe is also a central theme. How all these aspects fit together may be incomprehensible to some. Actor Bryan Cranston (67) is quite good with his assessment: "We can now visit Wes Anderson's thoughts." In fact, as a viewer you feel like a visitor in the fabulous and weird world of the filmmaker. You'll probably never really get there.
Whether "Asteroid City" can convince die-hard fans and Wes Anderson beginners will be revealed in cinemas across Germany from Thursday, June 15th. In addition to Schwartzman, Hanks and Johansson, the audience can look forward to many other top-class artists such as Steve Carell (60), Jeff Goldblum (70), Willem Dafoe (67), Tilda Swinton (62), Hope Davis (29), Adrien Brody (50) and Co. are happy.