Beau Is Afraid

Ari Aster, USA, Canada, Finland, 2023o


Phobic Beau is approaching fifty and lives as a lonely welfare case in a slum neighborhood full of weirdos. When his mother is killed by a chandelier, he is supposed to travel to her funeral. Instead, he ends up first with stolid do-gooders in an oppressive suburban idyll, then with art-loving bohemians in their open-air metaphorical play. When he finally arrives at his mother's villa, more surprises and dark secrets about his Kafkaesque life await him there.

Fans of horror films like to explain to us ignoramuses that nothing is more wrong than to take seriously the bloody accessories of this genre. They, they say, are basically black comedies and bets with the audience how far you can push an evil thought. The pitch-black comedy Beau Is Afraid is a prime example of this thesis. Its writer and director is the whimsical American Ari Aster, who recently created two blockbusters of the horror film with Hereditary and Midsommar, both telling of dynastic doom and brimming with wicked wit. Aster's latest prank now turns the horror theme of cursed ancestors fully into the comic, telling the story of a fiftysomething phobic and social case who should be traveling to the funeral of his ill-fated mother and is delayed or diverted by a thousand fears and misfortunes. Aster lays out this Oedipal drama about an eternal boy and his monstrous mother in four parts, each of which imaginatively takes a genre (the social drama, the suburban idyll, the sense play, and the melo) to the absurd. Joaquin Phoenix, as the title character, varies his own parade role as a psychopathic loser in Joker, and Aster lards his madcap ordeal with more references by the dozen. An overflowing grab bag and definitely madness with method.

Andreas Furler

Nach Hereditary und Midsommar präsentiert das Horror-Talent Ari Aster seinen dritten Spielfilm, und der hat es in sich. Beau Is Afraid bietet Überraschungen, kreative Ideen und verstörende Momente, die durch die fantastische Performance von Joaquin Phoenix und die beeindruckende Inszenierung von Aster in einem der absurdesten und verrücktesten Filme der letzten Jahre resultieren. Für den grösstmöglichen Kinospass empfehlen wir, sich nicht zu sehr mit der Handlung vertraut zu machen. Denn was hier alles passiert, muss man selbst erlebt haben.

Rouven Jetter

Galleryo, 4/13/2023
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Rolling Stone, 4/9/2023
All rights reserved Rolling Stone. Provided by Rolling Stone Archiv
SRF, 4/26/2023
All rights reserved SRF. Provided by SRF Archiv
Première, 8/20/2023
All rights reserved Première. Provided by Première Archiv
France Info Culture, 4/24/2023
All rights reserved France Info Culture. Provided by France Info Culture Archiv
Ari Aster's Closet Picks
/ The Criterion Collection
en / 4/19/2023 / 08‘57‘‘

Behind the Scenes of Beau Is Afraid
/ A24
en / 3/28/2023 / 01‘12‘‘

Ari Aster on Beau Is Afraid
/ Film at Lincoln Center
en / 5/3/2023 / 35‘30‘‘

From / SRF
de / 03‘37‘‘

Movie Datao

Comedy, Drama, Horror
Running time
179 Min.
Original language
ØYour rating6.7/10
IMDB user:
6.7 (58087)
< 10 votes
< 3 votes q

Cast & Crewo

Joaquin PhoenixBeau
Nathan LaneRoger
Stephen McKinley HendersonBeau's Therapist


Ari Aster's Closet Picks
The Criterion Collection, en , 08‘57‘‘
Behind the Scenes of Beau Is Afraid
A24, en , 01‘12‘‘
Ari Aster on Beau Is Afraid
Film at Lincoln Center, en , 35‘30‘‘
Nick Allen
Review Rolling Stone
Review SRF
Selim Petersen
Review Première
François Grelet
Review France Info Culture
Rédaction Culture
SRF / de / 03‘37‘‘
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