Asteroid City (2023) Review



Asteroid City won’t be for everyone with its leisurely pacing and somewhat confusing narrative but the performances are faultless, it looks gorgeous and is at times laugh out loud funny.

Plot: Following a writer on his world famous fictional play about a grieving father who travels with his tech-obsessed family to small rural Asteroid City to compete in a junior stargazing event, only to have his world view disrupted forever.

Review: It may come as a surprise to fans of The Action Elite but Wes Anderson is actually one of my favourite directors; I’d heard mixed reviews for his latest oddity Asteroid City and although it could be considered one of his weaker pictures it’s still an entertaining watch and feels like the most Wes Anderson movie that ever Wes Anderson-ed.

It has his usual bright pastel colours you’d expect with the main story being a play within a film, so it has the usual comedic quirks where it can be at times hilarious but also has a soul to it exploring themes of grief, family, isolation and more.

The cast is one of the best of the year and they all excel but it’s Bryan Cranston who steals the show as the narrator who also has the funniest moment of the entire film. Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson and Jason Schwartzman are also fantastic and I especially enjoyed the relationship between Johansson and Schwartzman’s characters.

I did find that switching to the black and white scenes did take me out of the story a little and think it could have worked better as just being set in Asteroid City but I guess that was the point.

Everything is framed to perfection and you just get that this is the exact film Anderson set out to make; the pacing does lag at times so it won’t be for everyone but it’s refreshing to see something like this in the theatre in between the loud soulless blockbusters (which I also enjoy).

Overall, if you’re not a fan of Wes Anderson’s movies then Asteroid City likely won’t win you over but it has beautiful visuals, excellent performances and an original story that will entertain his fans while probably bemusing newcomers.