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Ari Aster Compares The Joaquin Phoenix-Starring ‘Beau Is Afraid’ To The ‘Jewish Lord Of The Rings’

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo is tasked with bringing the One Ring to Mordor and destroying it. Along the way, he fights orcs, spiders, and a fish-loving lil freak. Ari Aster sees a lot of similarities between the fantasy trilogy and his new movie, Beau Is Afraid, which he called “a Jewish Lord of the Rings, but he’s just going to his mom’s house.” No word on the orcs and spiders, but if it’s anything like every Jewish gathering my family has hosted, there will be fish.

A24‘s Beau Is Afraid stars Joaquin Phoenix in a “decades-spanning surrealist horror film set in an alternate present” about an “extremely anxious but pleasant-looking man who has a fraught relationship with his overbearing mother and never knew his father. When his mother dies, he makes a journey home that involves some wild supernatural threats.” In the behind-the-scenes video above, Aster, who also directed Hereditary and Midsommar, said he’s been thinking about this film for 10 years. “If you pumped a 10-year-old full of Zoloft and had him get your groceries, that’s like this movie,” he added.

Beau Is Afraid, which also stars Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Richard Kind, comes out on April 21.