Even if the jury’s ways are impenetrable, Wes Anderson, who is back for a third time competing in Cannes after Sunrise Kingdom (2012) and French Dispatch (2021), finally hitting the charts. Because throughout this eleventh feature film (coming soon The wonderful story of Henry Sugaradapted from Roald Dahl Made for Netflix), is on the verge of self-parody, putting all of its narrative and aesthetic antics in service of a story that is hard to find any interest in.
It all starts in a TV studio and then on stage. A playwright introduces us to the characters of his next play, which takes place in the mid-1950s in the fictional Asteroid City, where there is only one dinner, a gas station and motel that rents out bungalows, but is most widely known for its huge crater caused by the fall of a meteorite on September 23, 2007 BC. Every year on this date, Asteroid Day is celebrated, including a science competition for teens. But on that day, the routine will be disturbed by the arrival of… an extraterrestrial being! It’s this story within a story, this play that suddenly becomes a movie, that Wes Anderson will tell us, with some behind-the-scenes commentary.
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Asteroid City It is defended by an imposing cast in which we meet not only pop arrangers and the cartoon universe of filmmakers (Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeffrey Wright), but also newcomers (Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon). But their happiness in existence is not enough to make us happy. After the first fifteen minutes, with these cleverly framed shots, these symmetrical fade lines, these pasting embellishments, these offbeat pitches, these split screens and these left-to-right camera movements to insist on side effects, so we completely ignore this great argument to end up not having Anything to stick to. And it’s not the pseudo-reflection on creation that underlies the story that will pull us away from this movie, which is certainly very beautiful visually, but just as utterly hollow.
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