American Honey

I never wanted to see American Honey, that much I will tell you. For one reason, I am tired of movies that are American ________. I think I said that much in my American Pastoral review this year.

But from the images I have seen, to the cast list, it just did not look appealing. I didn’t see a real trailer for it or anything, just these few things and they turned me off.

Then I found out about its length. For films in 2016, surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of extremely long films. A few years ago it felt like half the Best Picture potential films were at 3 hours, everything else over 2.5. This year has been decent. But American Honey is 2:45, the longest major film this year outside of Silence I believe, which is also right around that length.

That is a lot of time to invest in a film that doesn’t interest me. But then it had to go and get nominated for six spirit awards, so here I am…

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And here they are!

This film is about a girl named Star (Sasha Lane). We begin the film with her dumpster diving, grabbing not too old chickens and other food. She has two younger kids with her. They live with an older gentleman, who presumably gives them a roof over the head, in exchange for favors from Star. But then Star meets a group of people in a big white van going into a K-Mart. They look fun, they are partying, and one of them, Jake (Shia LaBeouf), offers her a job.

A job?! Just like that? Sure. She just has to meet them at a motel in the morning, and they will drive up to Kansas City. They sell magazines to rich people, live freely and unashamed. And after an uncomfortable time back at her house, she takes the two kids to sneak out of the house to leave them with a friend, hits the road, leaving her old life behind.

Ahh, free spirits. Hanging out in hotels, having sex with friends, and ripping off rich people with lies. And maybe discovering yourself along the way? Fuck if I know.

Featuring a bunch of people you haven’t heard of, like McCaul Lombardi, Arielle Holmes, Crystal Ice, Veronica Ezell, Chad Cox, Garry Howell, Kenneth Kory Tucker, Raymond Coalson, Isaiah Stone, and one more you might have heard before, Riley Keough.

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And this is when LaBeouf discovered he is really an assman.

Sigh. American Honey. One of the longest movies of the year and one of the biggest wastes of time.

Here is what it shows well. Free spirited teenagers being free and uh, carefree, and living life. The conversation seems natural, I am sure a lot of the film was not scripted, hey might have even went into real people’s houses for all I know.

But in terms of enjoyment? There is little. The story is pathetic, the acting is just act natural. And it takes 2 hours and 40 goddamn minutes to tell the little story it has.

It is like an extreme example of an indie movie stereotype. It is in badly need of an editor or something to help move the story along. And of course in that long amount of time, it fails to still really give any sort of ending.

God damn stereotypes. I can’t see why it got nominated for six awards.

1 out of 4.

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