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Scarlett Johansson in Asteroid City (Pop.87 Production)

A sci-fi comedy-drama, Asteroid City tells the story of a Junior Stargazer convention in the United States, which is disrupted by an alien from another planet. Source: Australian Catholics.

Set in the mid-1950s, parents and students from across America gather in a desert town to experience scientific enlightenment at the convention. 

The convention has been organised to appeal especially to Junior Stargazers and Space Cadets, and is spectacularly disrupted when it is visited by an alien who arrives by spaceship twice – once to take an asteroid back (maybe to home?), and once to return it.

They have to contemplate how best to interact with aliens, who themselves don’t know how they should relate to humans.

The film is a striking example of director Wes Anderson’s unique style. He uses his trademark deadpan dialogue, and he bathes Asteroid City and its quirky inhabitants in a golden glow. The film has a huge cast. Anderson wrote and produced the movie with a lot of help, but he singularly directs his films in a special way. When the film comes on, you know immediately, that you are watching a Wes Anderson movie. His films typically project studied, measured calmness interrupted by frantic action, and unusual happenings occur in black-and-white and in colour.

Anderson’s movies are whimsical in style. They are meticulously designed and framed, and they vary their subject matter widely. This one is broad in scope, and takes a fanciful look at loneliness and emotional repression in a chaotic world that is searching for meaning. 

Review by Peter W Sheehan, Jesuit Media 

Asteroid City: Starring Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton and Margot Robbie. Directed by Wes Anderson. Rated M (Brief nudity). 105 min.


Asteroid City (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)