Where Asteroid City shines, where it is made masterpiece, is in its brief flashes of joy: a good picture, a milkshake, a song and dance, one more martini. Here is a life not perfect—soldiers wielding guns, no personal space, endless boredom—made enviable by one thing only: each other.
Oppenheimer, like its namesake J. Robert Oppenheimer, is a noble failure—but I've continued to revisit it in my mind’s eye, wondering if it worked on me or if it was merely evocative—and to what degree “evocativeness” is a measure of quality.
Lily Gladstone and Martin Scorsese on the set of Killers of the Flower Moon
It’s the purview of art, of good art, to move. To move emotionally, intellectually, to move with or against the moment in which it’s found. It’s also the purview of the critical observer to take on whatever totality of context and understanding about the art and artist they already retain, or accumulate and decide for themselves what the work means, if it happens to mean anything.