Grade: A ‘Beau’-ring: A three-hour anxiety attack
Beau is Afraid (R)
At the Myrna Loy
Ponyo (PG) 2009, animated
At the Cinemark (ends May 10)
Heavy sits the crown on the head of a young director whose star is rising.
Ari Aster’s debut, “Hereditary,” a creepy horror film, was made for $10 million and grossed $80 million. Distributor A24 smiled: Please, sir, may we have some more?
Next up, “Midsommar,” a brilliant and chilling folk horror tale revolving around a Swedish cult celebrating the longest day of the year by shortening lives. ROI: $50 million on a $9 million budget.
Now a believer in Ari, A24 loosened its purse strings and invested $35 million in “Beau is Afraid,” a three-hour surreal trip down a psychedelic rabbit hole with Joaquin Phoenix as lead bunny.
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A24 hoped that Aster’s third feature would be an indie mega-hit.
But “Beau” is no boom. It’s a self-indulgent bust.
“Beau is Afraid” will garner some respectful reviews for its auteur vision, but most audiences will be baffled, bored and annoyed. Even film buffs will scratch their heads and fidget.
I like long movies. Three hours is just fine – as long as the artful spider seductively pulls