Anderson’s troupe of characters struggle to reconcile the finiteness of life with the infinite mysteries of the cosmos they’re confronted with, making for his funniest, most piercing movie yet.
Asteroid City might be one of Anderson’s most vulnerable films, but it’s also his hardest to untangle, lending itself much more easily to being felt rather than understood.
Anderson’s ability to conjure mood and memory, to spark genuine emotion, transcends the artifice on which its built, even as he reinforces it by cutting to the behind-the-scenes making of the play.
Sometimes, the play’s careful staging accommodates the unexpectedness of life. The lines are scripted, but the sentiment is honest. In every performance, there exists a kernel of truth.
In Asteroid City, characters gaze up at the night sky but are more preoccupied with trying to navigate the vast emptiness of a life that stretches in front of them.