How is “Asteroid City”, Wes Anderson’s space odyssey

It’s the delicate and harmless alien – a little shy indeed – who even poses for the photo, but he’s certainly also those prodigies who are smarter than the rest, funny precocious geniuses who want to stand out and, like him , want to stand out , they feel out of this world. Because only one thing is certain: In a Wes Anderson film, Wes Anderson is always there. You see it, you hear it, you “recognize” it. He, the alien of cinema, like no other: Texan from another planet, proud of his diversity, unclassifiable except on his team, always the same, made of friends and loyalists, part of a never-never country.

An unpredictable author by definition, surviving the boredom of the pandemic filmed his own personal quarantine: he blocked a motley crew of characters in Asteroid City, the imaginary one, for days during the 1950s of nuclear testing and the space race City that gives the title to his latest film (from September 14 in Italian cinemas). The same is true if one day instead of the eclipse, a meager ET occurs, leaving everyone speechless. And force thatAmerican lifestyle to a forced coexistence, which, however, will not be so uncomfortable for many.

Constructed with communicating vessels, in a game of Chinese boxes, like a play narrated by a playwright – in 4/3 time and in black and white – staged little by little for our pleasure, ironically short-circuiting the characters of a narrative universe in which they find themselves , perhaps accidentally, in the other film again – as always choral, colorful and full of stars (from Tom Hanks to Scarlett Johansson, from Jason Schwartzman to Margot Robbie, from Bryan Cranston in the role of the narrator). Steve Carell, from Matt Dillon to Tilda Swinton (many of whom walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday), is in full Anderson mood, with the filmmaker once again underscoring his extraordinary ethos as an illustrator in the fantastical reconstruction of an era in the comics meet Rockwell-style romantic realism in a figurative exploration of contagious lightness.

But if the decor and the concept of space and representation (where everything, even a city that looks like cardboard, becomes a stage and not a place), the strengths of the cinematographic idea of ​​remain asteroid cityThe risk for the American director is to become a little “in the way” of (himself), revealing in the fun but sometimes boring repetition of stylistic elements a voice (and an inspiration) that thins out over time becomes as if they had memorized (or simply put, there was) less to say. But maybe the game is still worth the candle and everything is part of the journey, the journey. Which can finally resume once the quarantine is over. Hoping someone will whisper to us, “Don’t stop, keep telling the story.”

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