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Where can I watch ‘Asteroid City’ online for free?

Have you ever felt like stepping into a live diorama? Ever wished to watch a story told in a movie within a movie, or perhaps a play within a television show? If you’re a Wes Anderson fanatic, buckle up for a visually stunning journey with his latest cinematic offering, Asteroid City. However, if you find Anderson’s work too self-enamored, brace yourself for an artistic ride that might seem a touch overboard.

Creative mosaic

Asteroid City is not just an extravagant creation of a director’s whimsical fantasy. Rather, it offers a poignant narrative of grief, longing, and the transformative power of storytelling, set amidst an idyllic desert town. Beneath all the painstakingly curated set designs, sharp stage directions, and delightful practical effects, lies a tale of a grieving widower, war photographer Augie Steenbeck, played by Jason Schwartzman.

The untimely death of Augie’s wife (Margot Robbie) leaves him drowning in grief, a secret he is hell-bent on hiding from their four children. 

Successfully fooling his young triplet daughters isn’t tough, as they’re caught in the thrill of a family road trip, but deceiving his teenage son Woodrow, played by Jake Ryan, becomes a colossal task. Woodrow, an astronomy enthusiast, is the reason the family ends up in Asteroid City for the local Junior Stargazer convention.

Unfolding tales

Asteroid City is a canvas where the characters, like expensive dolls, come alive against the desert backdrop brushed in earthy pastels. Augie’s struggle of standing up to his father-in-law Stanley (Tom Hanks) and raising kids without a woman forms the movie’s pulsating heart. Yet, this is merely one layer of a multi-tiered narrative, with Asteroid City functioning as a television show about the production of a play within another play.

Anderson’s mastery at creating quirky places populated by even quirkier people is no secret. And he does it again, painting Asteroid City as a town in a sandy, heat-mirage-filled void and a stage designed to look like a setting where Augie could cross paths with the likes of actress Midge Campbell (Scarlett Johansson) and schoolteacher June Douglas (Maya Hawke). But does the city maintain its charm when the Steenbecks begin interacting with its inhabitants?

The mirage

Anderson’s penchant for symmetrical framing and vivid color palettes are the paint and brush for Asteroid City. It’s a polished spectacle from a distance, with the ambition of the movie echoed in the enormity of its cast. As the narrative zooms in on Augie and Midge’s detailed dramatic dance, supporting characters like Midge’s daughter, Dinah (Grace Edwards), begin to feel like incomplete sketches, giving a sense of incoherence to the storyline.

This feeling of disconnectedness intensifies as Asteroid City shifts from its vibrant Technicolor world to a black-and-white reality. The drama behind-the-scenes between Conrad Earp (Edward Norton), the playwright of Asteroid City, and stage director Schubert Green (Adrien Brody), hosted by Bryan Cranston, distracts from the core plot, with visual gimmicks outshining character chemistry and narrative coherence.

Regardless, Asteroid City is a visual feast that explains why Anderson’s fans see a certain profundity in his work. It’s an acquired taste that’s sure to leave some viewers puzzled, and maybe a tad unsatisfied, while others will relish the ride. 

Featuring a stellar ensemble cast, including Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Steve Carell, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, Jeff Goldblum, Sophia Lillis, Fisher Stevens, Rita Wilson, and Bob Balaban, the movie hits the theaters on June 16th. Ready for a trip to the Asteroid City? Or are you still wondering what the buzz is all about?


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