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UFO tale “Asteroid City” is peak Wes Anderson weirdness

Asteroid City

Starring Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Steven Carell, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton and Margot Robbie. Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola. Directed by Wes Anderson. Reviewed at the Cannes Film Festival; opens in Toronto theatres June 23. 105 minutes. PG

⭐️⭐️⭐️ (out of 4)

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

Wes Anderson finally achieves peak weirdness with “Asteroid City,” a UFO encounter tale about time, grief, love, the meaning of life, the magic of the universe and giving a rock back to E.T.

Now in theatres after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, the movie features a visiting space alien who seems right at home with even stranger humans. They’re characters played by Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright and many other members of Anderson’s expanding retinue of celebrity accomplices.

Logic and narrative get lost in space, but this is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing for fans of the filmmaker, who adore Anderson’s idiosyncratic storytelling, quirky casting and obsessive production design.

“Asteroid City” is probably not the right on-ramp for people not already steeped in the clockwork insanity of Anderson’s cinematic expressions, which includes “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The French Dispatch.” 🌓


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