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.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.
From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har'el brings to life a young actor's stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father through cinema and dreams. Fictionalizing his childhood's ascent to stardom, and subsequent adult crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har'el casts Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the daring and therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Artist and musician FKA Twigs makes her feature-film debut, playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home. Har'el's feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as medicine and imagination as hope.
My Struggles (feat. Mary J. Blige & Grand Puba)
Written by Missy Elliott
Performed by Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba See more »
Strong performances and writing, a good film
Honey Boy is a film I was fascinated by, with the way it was made and the subject matter behind it. The story of a young Shia Labeouf and the relationship with his father influencing him as an adult. The performances from Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges and Shia Labeouf are fantastic, all giving committed performances that will draw out emotions, the direction from Alma Har'el was solid as well as Labeoufs writing, as it felt personal and gave us a glimpse into his life that he didn't need to show us, so I commend him on being brave enough to do that.
However, I did see some flaws with the film that didn't quite hook me into it as much as I wanted, its strange but I think showing us real authenticity at times doesn't translate well into films and it felt like that here at times. I also wanted to connect to the characters in the film more but I just couldn't, I wanted to see more from his time in rehab as I thought Lucas Hedges was amazing in his role and I wanted to see more. The 3rd act felt rushed and seemed like it needed an extra 15 minutes to wrap up the plot lines it created nicely.
Overall, Honey Boy is a good film with some great performances and some brave writing from Shia Labeouf, I just didn't connect with it as much as I would have liked with a rushed 3rd act made me not sing its praises, I do recommend audiences watch this film as it gives you a glimpse of what a childhood celebrity's life can be like, which is definitely fascinating and worth the watch on that alone.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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