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Joaquin Phoenix Is Trapped In A Comedy Of Nightmares In A24’s ‘Beau Is Afraid’ Trailer From ‘Midsommar’ Director Ari Aster

Midsommar and Hereditary director Ari Aster is bringing the world a new nightmare, one that’s fraught with both beauty and genuine horror and, apparently, one man’s battle to exist in the outside world. Joaquin Phoenix takes another breather from Todd Phillips’ Joker projects to pop in as a lead in a film that’s delivered a nightmarish first trailer, along with surrealist tones and pops of color that are so vivid they might set off a color bomb in your mind. One that happens to cross generations, quite literally.

That surely doesn’t bode well for the title character, Beau, who is described as “[a] paranoid man [who] embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film.” As well, we see Phoenix’s character at stages both older and young, including what is suggested to be an awful childhood, and Aster sure does enjoy throwing “difficult” (to put it mildly) mothers into the mix. For anyone with a hint of paranoia, there’s bound to be some anxiety in watching Phoenix fight has way home, and it might be too early in the morning for this type of adventure.

Tone-wise, the trailer emphasizes the comedic nature of Phoenix’s nightmares, and god only knows how much of this is literal when Beau ends up being struck by a car and held by Nathan Lane. Also on the scene: Amy Ryan, and the film also stars Parker Posey, Patti LuPone, Stephen Mckinley Henderson, Hayler Squires, and Denis Ménochet of Inglorious Basterds.

Beau Is Afraid has been shrouded in secrecy until now, although some suspected that the project would relate to Aster’s Beau short film, which does potentially check out.

Beau Is Afraid arrives in theaters on April 21.