“Beau is Afraid” and So Am I

by Christian Ramos on May 1, 2023

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Rock Fist Way Down]

I’m just going to get into it but what the fuck did I just watch? Beau is Afraid is the third feature from Ari Aster who clearly has a lot of family issues after what we have seen in Hereditary and Midsommar. Beau is Afraid is yet another in a long line of mommy issue movies that are made instead of seeking out therapy. I don’t know Aster’s life, and yet, this movie is off the wall bonkers and makes so damn sense. So let’s get into it. 

Beau Wasserman (Joaquin Phoenix) is an anxious man living in an already anxious environment. His neighborhood is filled with people who want to hurt him and his entire life is one panic attack after the next. He prepares to visit his mother (Patti Lupone) for the anniversary of his fathers death, but a series of events prevents him from even leaving his apartment. When he discovers his mother was killed in a freak accident, he sets himself to travel to her no matter what it takes. In his quest he is hit by a food truck run by Grace (Amy Ryan). Grace and her husband Roger (Nathan Lane) take Beau in to aid in his recovery. More and more things ensue so that Beau can’t get home just yet. From there, Beau escapes these two and their insane daughter Toni (Kylie Rogers). Beau is now on a quest to get back home no matter what it takes. 

And it takes a lot…

But what exactly does it take, I am not sure. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be a drama or a comedy. The events with Grace and Roger are incredibly uncomfortable that I could feel for Beau in every regard. Once he leaves the “safety” of their house, things go bonkers. A traveling acting company makes Beau examine his life in the past, present and future and then Beau makes it home and more shit happens all in a three-hour ride. 

And what a wasted three hours this is…

I don’t normally complain about a long movie, but when a three hour movie wastes every single second by confusing its audience, then what’s the point? There’s no substance to this except mom issues. I don’t care what this movie is supposed to say because frankly I don’t care. I saw it with only two other people in the audience and they were with me and their general reaction was a huge what the fuck?! Beau’s odyssey is a nightmare that you (and probably Beau) want to forget as soon as possible. 

Christian Ramos is a classic film fan, having had the dream to host Turner Classic Movies for years now. He also has a large amount of Oscar trivia in his head, remembers dressing as Groucho Marx one Halloween, and cherishes the moment Julianne Moore liked his tweet.


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