I’m very impressed with Andrea Arnold’s new film American Honey. Her other film I’ve seen, Fish Tank, was – to me – equally engaging (it also featured one of Michael Fassbender’s first feature film appearances.
Honey is cropped to the Instagram-like Academy aspect ratio 1.37:1. Lots of travelling shots, extremely shallow depth of field and vivid colours in the costumes and locations made me want to hit like and follow.
Our leading lady, Star, played by emerging actress Sasha Lane, joins a posse of fellow young’uns whose primary objective is to sell “magazines” to the public and make paper/stacks/cheddar – money, but the rappers rapping the annoying music (music which these budding entrepreneurs mindlessly repeat the rhyming words) prefer not to say money.
Our boy Shia’s there too. Giving it his all, as always. He leads his merry men and women into the battlefield each day, teaches new recruits and is the right hand man of the REAL leading lady, Krystal. Krystal is the pimp, 80% of the sales the team gets go to her and her operating costs.
It’s a real coming of age movie. None of these “on my gap yah I found myself” coming of age come close to this though. There’s a very real character who develops appropriately to the experiences she’s put through. It’s a longer film and for the most part it held my attention; only a couple of situations in the 2nd & 3rd acts felt repetitive.
One of my films of the year though. Gutted I didn’t get to see it earlier at London Film Fest, really.