There is a moment when watching Wes Anderson movies, especially his latest, notable movie. asteroid city— Feel like you’re witnessing stop motion in real time. There is a sense that a pair of giant invisible hands are floating above the tableau of the screen, and the movement itself is arranging the pieces at an imperceptibly minute level. Much of this effect can be explained by Anderson’s oft-imitated (and never replicated) camera style and the quirkiness of jumping from frame to frame.But it is not fully explained Feeling itself. His films don’t just flow into us. It takes effort to substantiate your own work. why? asteroid city attempts to answer that question in part through the manipulation of A-list casts.
The story is a deliberately extreme meta-commentary on storytelling, celebrity, and the vast agnosticity of existence. In his tight 104 minutes, the TV host (Bryan Cranston) zips between sets, saying, ” asteroid city, the screen is saturated with delicious Anderson colors and we are completely immersed in that world. The play itself is set in his 1955 fictional desert town, where the characters gather for a junior stargazer convention. Among them is grieving war photographer Auggie Steenbeck (Jason Schwartzman) and his associates, who have yet to inform him of his mother’s recent death. Against the backdrop of atomic bomb testing and general post-WWII malaise, stargazers showcase their inventions as parents, fellow scientists, and convention attendees experience life-changing discoveries. .
Critic Bilge Ebiri vulture, asteroid city “It’s a play within a play within a television work within a movie.” or, there is a meta-comment for the fancy cast itself. This cast includes (but is not limited to):
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- Jason Schwartzman Auggie Steenbeck (and the actor who played Auggie)
- scarlett johansson Lone Movie Star Midge Campbell (and Midge actress)
- Tom Hanks Auggie’s father-in-law, reluctant Stanley Zak
- Jeffrey Wright General Griff Gibson
- Tilda Swinton As Scientist Dr. Hickenlooper
- Bryan Cranston as a host
- Edward Norton famously asteroid city Playwright Conrad Earp
- Adrien Brody As asteroid city Director Schubert Green
- Liev Schreiber Junior Stargazer’s father, J.J. Kellogg
- Hope Davis Sandy Borden, Junior Stargazer’s mother
- Stephen Park Roger Cho, Junior Stargazer’s father
- rupert friend as cowboy montana
- Maya Hawk School teacher June Douglas
- Steve Carell As a motel manager in town
- Matt Dillon Local Mechanic Hank
- Hong Chau Polly Green as Schubert’s estranged wife
- Willem Dafoe As asteroid city Acting teacher Salzburg Keitel
- Margot Robbie As an actress playing Auggie’s future wife
- Tony Revolori as a lieutenant
- Jake Ryan Woodrow Steinbeck, Auggie’s son (and Woodrow’s stand-in)
- Grace Edwards Dinah Campbell (Midge’s daughter)
- Ella Faris, Gracie Faris, Willan Faris As the daughter of Auggie’s identical triplets
- Jeff Goldblum as an alien
As is the case with many of Anderson’s films, one might be tempted to view such a spectacular ensemble as power acting on behalf of the director. Watch him be named again and again as one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors. And sure, there are plenty of actors who foam at the mouth to appear in his photos, and it’s often done repeatedly. As Davis told me in an interview, “This is my first Wes Anderson movie and a long awaited call.”
Yet, however paradoxical it may sound, Anderson’s long list of sluggers is actually based on showing self-control. asteroid city Don’t let the momentum of their name empower you they surrender this is pace. That’s the point of the movie itself. All the pieces work together to create something we don’t yet understand, something we can’t achieve alone. Anderson says he knows exactly when to pluck each string he has.
As Hawke, who plays schoolteacher June, told me, “Wes has a very specific casting.” She continued, “I found myself in a role where the rhythm of the language, like sheet music, was very clear to the character.” Anderson knows what he wants his character to say. how he wants them to say it. And, perhaps most importantly,WHO Perfectly prepared to say it. Robbie probably doesn’t care that she’s the biggest actress of 2023. Anderson implanted her in her one minute scene. And it might be the most impactful exchange in the whole work. asteroid city. And, of course, Johansson is the brightest yet compact, as well as Schwartzman, who is bewildered and graceful about what this play, this stargazer race, this war, this grief, and this movie is all about. meaning. “Keep telling the story,” Brody’s Schubert Green instructs him.
“The strange lesson I learned, which I didn’t realize until I saw the movie, is that when you’re watching a movie, it’s like a magician saying, ‘Look at the cards.'” bottom.I’ll try [disappear]’” Schwartzman told me. asteroid city at the theater. “And behind the ears. And I [Johansson] With that element, I’m watching where we’re doing these scenes together all It’s actually happening, but I still watch the movie and go, “Wow.” There are little things like the magic of sleight of hand. ”
Many of the same popular actors, including Schwartzman himself, appear again and again throughout Anderson’s catalog. moonrise kingdom To Darjeeling LimitedBut they are placed with pin precision, not the darts thrown in competition. Anderson is often criticized for his “style over content” approach, but I believe it’s often the other way around. He cares a lot about content, so he makes sure the style (in this case, the actors themselves) is consistent.
without spoiling too much asteroid city Ultimately, it becomes clear that neither Schwartzman nor his character actually need to understand the meaning behind the mystery. It’s just like we don’t have to physically see a hand moving across a screen. we know they are there we can feel them. In some cases, that’s all you need.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is ELLE’s Staff Culture Writer, working primarily on film, television and books. She previously served as Associate Editor of ELLE.