I have really wanted to see this movie since it came out at Cannes, but there was no way that I was going to travel to see it because of its potentially high level of sexuality. Luckily, the theater at which I volunteer ended up getting it, and I was extremely satisfied with the film.
I had heard from fellow volunteers that this film was horrible and pointless. People were walking out of the theater during the movie. I hold the opposite opinion. This is definitely a character-driven film. The plot isn't the most important part of the film, but rather the development of the protagonist. Even the development of the secondary characters serves to develop the protagonist. It is a rite-of-passage film and a slice-of-life film at the same time. I understand why some people wouldn't like it: it is almost three hours long, full of profanity and drug use, and has a rather sexual second half. I, on the other hand, found it to be an extremely interesting portrait of a complex character. The protagonist shouldn't be as likable as she is: she can be a jerk at times. But as the audience, we buy in to the development of the character. As such, I was enthralled for much of the two hours and forty-five minutes.
The technical elements of the film are also amazing. The cinematography is great. The camerawork perfectly combines wth the color scheme to further develop the emotion of the scene. The cinematography is also risky. It breaks rules, much like the protagonist, but still creates interesting shots that work to develop the character. Even the sexual shots are shot artistically as to evoke emotion, rather than being graphic. I would say that it is among my favorite cinematography of the year. The performances of the film are also great. Sasha Lane nails it in her role. She brings the perfect amount of emotion, making the character feel even more dynamic than already written. Shia LaBeouf also knocks it out of the park. His performance is dedicated, believable, and intimidating. He creates the perfect audience reaction for what his character is doing. In addition, Jena Malone is also great.
So overall, I really loved "American Honey". There is no way that this film won't be in my top 10 before the year is over. It is so well-written and well-made. It's very uncomfortable in parts, but if you don't mind that, it is a truly amazing film.
Big Tuna's Rating: A+
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.