John Waters Crowns Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid as the Best Film of 2023


John Waters fearlessly declares Ari Aster’s existential dark comedy Beau Is Afraid as the best film of 2023 in his annual list of favorites. The renowned Pink Flamingos director praises the A24 production, describing it as an exceptionally long, crazy, and funny exploration of one man’s mental breakdown, featuring a stellar cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Patti LuPone, Parker Posey, Nathan Lane, and Amy Ryan. Waters emphasizes that it’s an unforgettable laugh riot from hell.

Waters’ top 10 list for the year also includes Pierre Croton’s A Prince, Paul Schrader’s Master Gardener, Fallen Leaves, Do Not Expect Too Much of the End of the World, Last Summer, and Pedro Almodóvar’s short film Strange Way of Life. Notably, he commends Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, describing it as deserving the Oscar for being a big-budget, star-studded, and intelligent action movie about dialogue.

Additionally, Aster, the writer-director of Beau Is Afraid, expressed disappointment in the film’s reception, acknowledging its intentional divisiveness. He considers it his favorite among his works, emphasizing its polarizing nature and the challenges of creating such a film.

Furthermore, Waters’ diverse list best film of 2023 showcases his appreciation for films that captivate, surprise, and challenge audiences. From the psychological depth of Beau Is Afraid to the star-studded intelligence of Oppenheimer, each selection reflects Waters’ unique taste in cinema.



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