Indie Gems: American Honey
Do you have dreams?
Star (Sasha Lane) has been having a rough go of it. When we first meet her, she's dumpster diving with two young children trying to find food for the abusive household she lives in. While she's out, she meets Jake (Shia LaBeouf) a magazine salesmen in a van full of free spirited young people. He convinces her to come with them and work for Krystal (Riley Keough) traveling across America.
What makes Star the mots intriguing is how grey her character is. She's introduced to us as responsible for looking out for her half siblings (I'm assuming that's what they are, the film doesn't explain) but then she just dumps them with their absentee mother to leave with Jake and the others. It made me ponder on whether or not that was a good move, whether I blamed her, or thought she was ever coming back.
American Honey forced me to watch something I couldn't relate with at all. I could never be a door to door salesman, partying all day and night, then crashing in seedy motels. Some of the people in this group are despicable as well, like Krystal who acts like their pimp to another who steals a perfectly cared for dog because she wanted it for herself. But director Andrea Arnold captures all this without judging eyes. She has a way of shooting that makes anything her camera touches feel organic.
This is Sasha Lane's film debut and she's wonderful in it. Both her and LaBeouf have complicated chemistry. If there's one mistake the movie has, it's that it's far too long. When you make a film that pushes three hours, there shouldn't be filler and there were far too many scenes of the magazine crew singing along to music in their van to justify the film's length.
Watched on: DVD
Memorable Quote: "So you're a real American honey like me?" - Krystal (Riley Keough)