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Asteroid City – Wes Anderson (2023)

Anderson comes with another quirky arthouse comedy. Perhaps it is even more quirky than “Grand Budapest Hotel“.

Somewhere in an American desert, an incoming asteroid left a crater. Near that crater Asteroid City was built. A tiny, sleepy town which consists only of a road, a railway and a few buildings. Every year the commemoration of the asteroid brings a gathering of young and upcoming scientists to show off their latest investigations.

“Asteroid City” is a film about the making of a play with of course a story in a story. That starting point may not be unique, but Anderson worked it out wonderfully. The stages look like colorful play-stages which allowed the director to create wonderful ‘symmetrical camera work’, slowly moving shots, amusing animations, long motionless shots and of course the picture-like shots of Scarlet Johansson.

Just as in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” there is an interesting range of actors. Tom Hanks, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Jeff Goldblum as the alien.

The story is minimalist, slightly absurdist, the odd characters play odd games, even the speeches are weird. The result is a highly amusing arthouse film of which too few come to my attention.

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