2023 ( USA | UK | Finland ) ( Comedy, Drama, Horror )
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan
Director: Ari Aster
In Beau Is Afraid, Joaquin Phoenix plays the titular scaredy-cat, a hapless middle-aged man living in a decaying city riven with street violence. All Beau wants to do—or, really, all he’s trying to do—is get out of town to see his mother, Mona (Patti LuPone), whose spectre looms over the movie to increasingly suffocating effect. But he’s routinely thwarted on his journey by a kind of cosmic bad luck that will, eventually, be sourced back to his own stifling neuroses. The further Beau travels along his strange journey, the darker and more twisted the path becomes. He becomes trapped in a nightmarish modern world that mixes black comedy, unsettling tension, surrealism, horror, absurdist humour and crushing pathos.
Ari Aster’s audacious third feature is a film that you will either love or hate. It is a crazy, sometimes confounding, cinematic journey that most certainly won’t be for everyone, but if you do take the plunge, it’s a wild ride you won’t easily forget.