I’m not even going to try to say American Honey isn’t indulgent as hell. It’s 2 and a half hours, and almost an hour of that is teenagers in a van smoking, drinking, and singing along to trap hits.
This will be for you if you’re down for a unique sensory experience. It’ll also be widely regarded as one of my generation’s essential American teen films; a sprawling, hazy US road trip epic with a protagonist every bit as enchanting as she is a humanly flawed. The results of these narrative and character ambitions are as fascinating as you could expect. It has an energy unlike anything I’ve seen before, and what makes it truly remarkable is the distinct language it possesses. It’s an identifiable, smooth, lullabying cadence I couldn’t get enough of.
Sasha Lane’s Star is among the most compelling female leads in years. It’s not a scream-y, cry-y, or otherwise showy performance, but she truly makes you feel everything her character is feeling. Shia LaBeouf’s Jake is the perfect compliment to her weird, wistful, rebellious electricity. This is one wacky screen couple, man. Unforgettable.
American Honey is a genuinely innovative and gorgeously photographed cinematic journey. While the 2 and a half hour run time is unnecessary, leading to several instances of repeated beats, it’s certainly intoxicating. The atmosphere alone makes things speed by. Seriously, man. Don’t miss this one. And please see it in a theater. [B]