A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.
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This wilful truncating of possibilities for coverage, découpage, and a more flexible directorial “regard” can seem, at moments, defiantly Bressonian. But, as happens even with the Dardennes, the adoption of such a strict parti pris can also create a host of narrational problems (on the level of: who exactly is doing what here?).
An epic film shot almost exclusively handheld and in 4:3; a coming-of-age proclamation that’s uncannily wise beyond its years; a road movie that eschews genre clichés… For me, it’s tied with Kelly Reichardt’s CERTAIN WOMEN as my favorite film of 2016; both are about women from small places who lead small lives, but with big hearts.
I found so much beauty in those young ones, the filmmaking, just the way Arnold allows them to take to the road and feel it, feel new love, feel fear, feel their sex, that the celluloid almost seems tangible. Like you could touch this movie. It’s that vibrant and alive.
As hard as it is for me to relate to a heroine who's irresistibly attracted to Shia LaBeouf, I'm still on Andrea Arnold's side. She's one of our most sensually attuned filmmakers, skilled at filtering images through her protagonists' gaze. What holds American Honey back is that its view of American poverty can feel like shallow tourism, or like a "white trash chic" fashion shoot. Bonus star for Sasha Lane.
Andrea Arnold's portrait of disaffected, disenfranchised white trash American millennials is the perfect antidote to the depressing debacle that is the worst Presidential race in modern U.S. history. I watched this the day after the 3rd Clinton-Trump debate and now I feel clean again.
The freedom and spontaneity of the narrative and the filmmaking is often exhilarating, even if the film does seem overstretched at nearly three hours long. Youthful joie-de-vivre and sunny skies enveil a portrait of middle-American poverty and desperation.
Can we get a sequel focused more on Riley Keough's Krystal?! I mean... what an absolute scene stealer! Loved seeing her in this. A compelling and epic road movie about impoverished youth trying to make ends meet however they can, even if it means scamming and stealing. Sasha Lane as Star plays a fierce leading character with whom you mostly empathise and root for, despite the occasional silly decisions.
American Honey drips from its frames on the surface with a life of carefree partying, longing and living on the road but creates a vivid tangible feeling of love and heartache that is difficult to not enjoy and immerse oneself in as much as one possibly can.
A sweet messy american beauty. From a soundtrack featuring the likes of Rihanna, Låpsley, Bruce Springsteen or Ciara, a cameo of Wendy Williams' Hot Topics or Shia LaBeouf's rattail... you can't help but to found love in this hopeless place.
I initially dismissed the film, unable to identify with the filmmaking - but given a few weeks to digest, I find I'm holding some fantastic and intense emotions. I'm in love. I had a very similar response to Blue is the Warmest Color.
American Honey is a socially conscious road film that isn't afraid to be critical of American life but isn't didactic about it. The performances are great, in particular Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf, whose work here is his best. It's a lively & spirited film, filled with pain & suffering, but also tenacity & resolve. Here is a soulful & bold film about the youth of America, too bad the youth aren't allowed to see it