Asteroid City is director Wes Anderson‘s retrofuturistic love letter to what the world thought was science fiction in the 1950’s but never was. With a cast of heavy hitters like Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, William Dafoe, Steve Carell, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hanks and Matt Dillon, it seems like Anderson just called up everybody he knew and said, “hey, you wanna be in a silly movie”? Naturally they all said yes.

Trailer park

In Asteroid City, the itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events. The residents of Asteroid City, a ficitonal town in the middle of the desert in 1955, are all a bit on the weird side, possibly from the isolation of the place.

Scarlett Johansson stars as a movie star, Tom Hanks is an ornery grandfather, and Jason Schwartzman as a recent widower trying to get his car fixed while trying to keep the fact of his wife’s death from his kids. Also, there’s an alien.

The trailer shows us a number of vignettes that set the tone for the whole film. “I don’t like the way that guy looked at us, the alien. Like we’re doomed,” says Schwartzman.

This has got to be at least worth a look. Asteroid City goes to limited release in theaters June 16, 2023.


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