Beau is Definitely a Momma’s Boy in New ‘Beau is Afraid’ Official Trailer

A Beau's best friend is his mother...

Credit: A24

A second official trailer for Ari Aster’s upcoming mind-bender is here, and it’s only 45 seconds. At less than a minute long, the trailer gives us a longer glimpse of the odd relationship between Beau and his mother.

Opening up on some sort of cruise boat similar to the first trailer, we are briefly introduced to Ellie. One can assume Ellie and Beau develop some sort of relationship on the boat, and quickly we pivot from a girl in Beau’s life to a woman: his mother. It doesn’t take much to form a thematic connection between this film and 1960’s Psycho; the trailer even goes so far as to visually reference the film with a shot of someone (likely Beau) peeking through some sort of hole in the wall.

It is clear to see that even at his much older age, Beau is unhealthily attached to his mother: likely a mutual relationship in this way. His mother’s comments in the trailer about ‘his attraction’ also hint at this seemingly Oedipal situation. Having witnessed what Aster has done in his previous films, would it be too farfetched to fear some truly literal Oedipal instances in the film?

Beau is Afraid A24
Credit: A24

Pairing an already revered and unconventional filmmaker— Aster— with a long established master of his craft— Joaquin Phoenix— almost guarantees a result unlike anything ever put on screen. When asked by GQ about working with Phoenix, Aster explained that

“[Phoenix] doesn’t come onto [just] any project, likely because he invests so much of himself into every part, which I experienced firsthand on this film

“But my feeling about Joaquin before I offered him the part was that he might be the best actor in the world. And after working with him, I think he’s better than I thought he was.”

It comes as no surprise the amount of detail put into this upcoming film, evident even just from the few minutes of footage in the trailers. Pausing the new trailer at 26 seconds, a small look at the apocalyptic-looking city reveals some very funny and curious details. Most notably, the sign on the left background building reads “DEFUND PIGS END CORRUPTION SHARE WEALTH BETRAY YOUR MOTHER LIVE FOREVER!” Along with wide-scale, institutional calls to action, “BETRAY YOUR MOTHER” and “LIVE FOREVER” feel very out of place.

With so many questions stemming from less than 5 minutes of footage, it is likely that the full 3 hour runtime (2h 59m, to be exact!) might leave us with more questions than answers—  and what could be better than that?!

In the same conversation with GQ, Aster had this to say about his thoughts on the film’s reception

“I’m expecting it to be rejected by a lot of people on first viewing

“It’s doing very weird things and I’m hoping it’s something that will grow for people afterwards.”

Beau is Afraid comes to theaters on April 21.

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