Wes Anderson is no stranger to Cannes or Oscar nominations as Focus Features hopes the debut of Asteroid City at the former leads to the latter. A mix of comedy, drama, romance, and sci-fi, it features the auteur’s typical sprawling cast (many of whom have worked with him on multiple occasions). This includes (deep breath) Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, and Jeff Goldblum. Exhale.
Out stateside on June 23rd, City premiered in the south of France just like Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and The French Dispatch. Four of his last five works have generated the Academy’s attention. 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox was up for Animated Feature and Original Score (from frequent collaborator Alexandre Desplat). 2012’s Kingdom was in the Original Screenplay derby (with Anderson’s cowriter Roman Coppola). Two years later, The Grand Budapest Hotel was the massive awards breakthrough with nine Oscar nods and four victories in Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, and Production Design. It is Anderson’s sole BP nominee. 2018’s Isle of Dogs nabbed Animated Feature and Score mentions. In 2021, I had The French Dispatch predicted for Score and Production Design. It was surprisingly blanked on the morning of nominations.
Critics indicate this is an Anderson effort through and through and most reviews are of the thumbs up variety. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 84%. Like Dispatch and pics before it, Score (by Desplat of course) and Production Design are possibilities. So is the screenplay from Anderson and Coppola. Yet the overseas reaction is not to the level of Hotel and City could come up short like Dispatch did. A Best Picture nod probably won’t occur though perhaps the Golden Globes could slot it in Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy).
Finally, despite the sheer volume of familiar faces appearing in his filmography, no actors have received recognition in one of Anderson’s pics from the Academy. Bill Murray in Rushmore and Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums likely came close. I do not anticipate that streak being broken here. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…