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American Honey is "natural and intoxicating" 

One of the year's best.

click to enlarge rs-245871-american-honey00.jpg

Andrea Arnold is British, but American Honey is very much a movie about the United States, lovingly constructed in the storied independent style of that country. Not only does it feature a singalong to the Lady Antebellum song it’s named after (“Nothin’ sweeter than summertime/and American honey”), it also has Riley Keough, granddaughter of Elvis Presley, speak the line “You’re a real American honey, like me.” These earnest moments play just fine in amongst the ragtag of actors Arnold (Fish Tank) has assembled, both amateur and professional, to ride around the southern US in a van selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. American Honey’s centre is not its only recgonizable name, Shia LaBeouf—though he is complex and charming as the best salesperson on the team—but a teenager Arnold found on a beach in Panama. Sasha Lane plays the aptly named Star, who has a worldly wisdom despite her disadvantages (when we meet her she’s dumpster diving for her family, then getting groped by her drunk stepfather). When LaBeouf’s Jake meets her in a parking lot and invites her along for the ride, she catches what may be her only chance out of this dead end. The road holds just as many predators as home, but the movie never turns where you think it will. It’s too long by 20 minutes, but so natural and intoxicating it feels like a documentary. One of the year’s best, by a long shot.

American Honey
Rated R (MPAA) · 158 min. · 2016
Official Site:
Director: Andrea Arnold
Writer: Andrea Arnold
Cast: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough


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