The Moya View

Asteroid City: Wes Anderson’s Pretty Little Turd

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Summary via IMDB:

Following a writer on his world famous fictional play about a grieving father who travels with his tech-obsessed family to small rural Asteroid City to compete in a junior stargazing event, only to have his world view disrupted forever.


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Wes Anderson has always been meta, but with a purpose. In Asteroid City, Anderson is now meta for meta’s sake and meta’s sake alone. There is no there there. It’s all punning and posing, within Anderson’s hyped up color palette, stylized sets and even more stylized acting style. It’s gorgeous to look at but a trudge. Anderson has dressed up a turd and made you think it’s the most beautiful thing

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In this town where atom bombs are routinely tested in the distant background and pride in an ancient asteroid is abundant and it main money driver gets visited by E,T,s, the rock stolen, and the government imposes a total lockdown robbing the movie of every once of plot and characterization. It like being trapped in multiple puzzle boxes with nothing of value inside. It’s like Waiting for Godot without even the idea of Godot, just sitting with no talking. It’s all reflection with no penetration.

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The outer puzzle box is a black and white parody of the old live 1950’s television. It’s theater with a big pretentious T unaware of the awfulness of its production. It’s Anderson flaunting his pretty turd and trying to convince the viewer that it’s a masterpiece. The inner puzzle box, the really colorful looking Wes Anderson-y one, is a pastel painting of a postcard rack bleaching in the dessert sunshine. No one will ever buy them, and no one will ever will.

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With this kind of nothingness going on, the traditional star studded cast might as well be store mannequins. At least the viewer will be spared all the pretension. Star studded life in Asteroid City is just another reflection, pretension, more meta too. It’s more claiming from Anderson that a blank script can only mean everything. Even the quaint character names- Dr. Hickenlooper, Schubert Green, Lucretia Shaver, Linus Mao, Walter Geronimo- are reflections. Everyone and everything is all dressed and refuses to go anywhere. Motion is not walking, just going through the motions. Don’t dare add an e to this and think that actual human e-motions are occurring.

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The meaning of Asteroid City, if it has any meaning at all, is that Anderson has nothing to say, and no idea how to say it. That’s probably why the mantra “You can’t wake up if you don’t fall asleep,” is repeated Ad infinitum by the cast at the end. The dull car mechanic at the beginning said it best “Everything is connected, but nothing’s working.”.

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Asteroid City gets a 2.0 out of 5 or a C. It’s streaming on Peacock.

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Directed by

Wes Anderson

Screenplay by

Wes Anderson

Story by

Produced by



Robert Yeoman

Edited by

Barney Pilling

Music by

Alexandre Desplat



Distributed by

Release dates

  • May 23, 2023(Cannes)
  • June 16, 2023(United States)

Running time

105 minutes[2]


United States




$25 million





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