The new film, Asteroid City, by Wes Anderson took the red carpet at Cannes 2023 by storm. It was defined by the Spanish newspaper El País as a “western with Martians” set in 1955. Anderson directed several famous names that have joined the project of the director’s new film, including Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Adrien Brody, and Steve Carell. The cast took an entire bus with all the seats occupied to reach the red carpet at Cannes 2023.
Shot in the municipality of Chinchón, near Madrid, Asteroid City’s arid and mountainous scenery made it ideal for filming a typical story set in the Far West. However, this film contains an alien invasion that forces the Army to cordon off the area, trapping everyone there by force.
The international press asked Anderson if he had conceived this film as a kind of self-reflexive response to the ravages of the pandemic. Anderson replied that it wasn’t deliberate to create the quarantine scenes in a film; it just happened coincidentally. The filming during the Covid protocols allowed Anderson to put together a real coexistence, and they could stay and sit around a long table every night.
Scarlett Johansson, the voice actress of Isle of Dogs, said she was drawn to the limitations that Anderson’s precise method of directing imposes, calling it “very liberating.” In Asteroid City, Johansson plays a stage star with echoes of the persona of Bette Davis, a role that Anderson conceived and wrote explicitly for her.
As the final leg of the official competition unfolds, Asteroid City obtained a moderate vote of 2.2 in the classic panel of critics that the specialized publication Screen Daily carries out every year during the festival. Next Saturday, the verdict of the jury will be announced, chaired by the Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund and made up of the Argentine Damián Szifron. On that day, the winning film of the Palme d’Or 2023 and the rest of the awards will be announced.