A divisive Wes Anderson film, that some dismissed as the director parodizing of his own style. It's true that the aesthetics are extremely1, almost comically, "Wes Anderson". But behind the symmetrical, pastel-colored façade of the film hides deeper meaning.

I liked the typically wesandersonian "Russian dolls" structure of a play within a show within a movie, except that this time we simultaneously see the making of the play and the play itself (unlike previous W.A. films where the framing device was more stylistic). I liked the façade itself: the photography the aesthetics the details, the directing. One thing I liked a bit less is the score—I had the Alexandre Desplat scores for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The French Dispatch on repeat for days, but country music isn't really my thing, even when Desplat makes it.

To really get it though, Anderson wants you to watch the film twice. But is there any one thing to "get"? It seems that there are multiple ways to read and understand the film, and I think that's part of its complexity/beauty. The way I see it—after a single viewing2 and a lot of reading online afterward3Asteroid City is at its core a film about storytelling: the stories we tell ourselves and others, the way we frame them, the worldviews we build to accommodate them and what happens when they crumble.

In a single quote, maybe:

  • I still don't understand the play
  • Don't worry about it, just keep telling the story



  1. the scenes are so meticulously crafted that there is even an exhibition of film sets and stills in London (catch it until July 8th if you're there)

  2. first time at the Navire theater in Aubenas, on the day of the theatrical release in France

  3. among others I liked this take from Maureen Lee Lenker at EW and that one from David Ehrlich at IndieWire. Send others my way!