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Beau is Afraid   review by Bobby Blakey

I have loved director Ari Aster’s films Hereditary and Midsommer so was excited for this latest film Beau Is Afraid. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Parker Posey and Amy Ryan, but does it bring more of Aster’s unique visions to the forefront or will it to be afraid to put itself all out there?


Beau is Afraid follows a paranoid man who embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster. Being a fan I would have watched this film anyway, but the trailers were intriguing making you really wonder what we were getting. I missed it on its initial run so was glad to finally sit down and check it out, but what I got was not what I was expecting and for me that was a good thing.


I think I assumed this was going to be another horror-esque film from the strange nature of the trailer and his previous outings, but it is something altogether different and so much more. Yes the film is very strange and might not work for everyone as it does push the boundaries of the bizarre at times, but in ways I thought was brilliant. The film takes a unique approach at dealing with all manners of fears through one single individual and it works on every level.


The film is crafted in a way that is surreal and unique way that allows you to experience his varying emotional and physical struggles with his inner and outer fears. There are some great moments of realization that would see the fear lifting only to have something occur that further pushes it back in just

like real life. Sometimes you have to really look into what they are trying to tell you through visuals or emotions more than dialogue to get the full impact, but it is there in spades.


Phoenix is always good, but here is he at his best giving what I believe is one of his best performances ever. He is saddled with not only carrying the film on his shoulders, but navigate the wide variety of emotions and insecurities of what Beau is experiencing and it is a lot. He brings every emotional moment to the role with perfection offering up a brilliant performance that the entire movie hinges on.


The rest of the cast are great as well, but this is his show all the way and makes for yet another showcase of his incredible talent. The film will no doubt fall in a grey area with its overall tone and execution and not work for everyone. I hope that more people give it a chance and see it for the truth it is trying to share and not just get lost in the strangeness of it all. Even more so is the ending itself. I love the realization he has at the end and how it comes to a instant ending of it all that almost feels to abrupt, but mimics the chaos of life.


Decide for yourself and check out Beau Is Afraid available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from A24 and Lionsgate.

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