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Beau Is Afraid
ShowtimesJune 2:7:00 pmJune 3:7:00 pm
Ari Aster’s audacious third feature mixes unsettling tension, absurdist humour and crushing pathos. A stunning exploration of one man’s profound mother issues, Beau Is Afraid is yet another superb platform for Joaquin Phoenix as the sympathetic anchor for the story of a son on a metaphorical journey in the wake of the death of his complicated mother. While this psychodrama satirises our tendency to scapegoat our parents for our own failings, Aster is even more searing when he takes Beau’s trauma seriously, resulting in a film with meticulously executed tonal command and emotional nuance. Phoenix plays Beau, a mild-mannered, middle-aged depressive who is planning to visit his disapproving, domineering mother. He misses his flight and by the time he composes himself to book another ticket, she has died. In a more traditional film, Beau would simply attend his mother’s funeral, but Aster instead hurls his protagonist into a series of misadventures, each of them forcing Beau to confront strange individuals who are obstacles along his path. –Screen Daily