Hello friends! It’s that time again! Another Solo at the Cinema! It’s been two months, which is pretty shameful because it’s one of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place. I had a rare day off finally. I was originally planning another day trip to L.A., but my bank account said otherwise. Instead of moping in my house, I planned a trip to the movies.
My film of choice was American Honey. It looked interesting from the previews, so I decided to give it a go. It was a good time killer for my day off, and a great road trip flick. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy the movie as much as I wanted to because I developed a gross migraine (This is not the first time that this has occurred during a film. I probably need to get checked or something). So if you’re having a very slow day (and I mean slow because the film is almost 3 HOURS!), I recommend this film for you. Here is my review down below:
Starring: Sasha Lane, Shia Labeouf, Riley Keough
Director: Andrea Arnold
American Honey is a story about a young woman named Star (Sasha Lane) who leaves her troublesome life in a rural Midwestern town to join a band of partying magazine salesmen lead by the smooth-talking Jake (Shia Labeouf) and the cold, demanding Krystal (Riley Keough). The crew migrates from town to town peddling their magazines to rich neighborhoods, truck stations, oil field workers, and pretty much anyone with an ounce of money. Star makes an immediate connection with Jake (who is concurrently in a toxic relationship with Krystal) and that is the driving point of the entire film. Star is intrigued by Jake and constantly pines for his affection despite the obvious signs that he is bad news. Plot wise, there isn’t much else that goes on the film. I felt there truly wasn’t a climax or resolution. American Honey is simply a string of events realistically captured on film. I felt as if the actors weren’t really acting, but were being captured for a documentary. This is definitely a more character-driven film, than an events-driven one.
This is one of the few films I have seen that does a great depiction of rural America. Parts of it are bleak and ugly, but it was captured beautifully. As I watched this film, I felt a weird wave of nostalgia while the group was driving down the highways. The areas they stayed were very reminiscent of my hometown in North Carolina- which is a boring, and drab looking place. Perhaps that was the purpose of this film, to give us a tour of a part of the United States that is often ignored in cinema.
Ear Porn: A+++
This film has a pretty badass soundtrack. Chock full of rap, a bit of country, and couple other genres sprinkled throughout, American Honey utilizes music to the fullest extent to compliment the road trip aspect of the film. What’s a road trip without some mood music? I mean the film gets it name from the song of the same name by Lady Antebellum. In the film you’ll also hear songs from Rae Sremmund, Carnage, Ciara, Juicy J, and Rihanna among others. I have found the soundtrack list here.
There isn’t a lot of diversity in this film because it centers around rural Midwestern kids, and takes place in states such as Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota- where geographically there is little diversity. Outside the magazine salesmen, there aren’t many other characters. There are some POCs shown in the different cities, but there’s not much fuss to be made.
Girl Power: D
Aside from Krystal being the business owner, there isn’t much girl power going on in this film. Sure Star wanted a new life, but she was more intrigued by Jake than anything, which is probably the only thing that kept her around. Jake is toxic and she obviously knows it, but she still makes sacrifices for him anyway. The end of the film made me think she might leave, but she didn’t or we don’t know if she did. Most of the other woman in the film have minimal roles, or we don’t get much insight into their lives. Krystal is a the “business owner” but she’s apparently in control of Jake and everyone else- and not in a good way.
Box Office: D
The film doesn’t seem to pulling in a ton of money, seeing that it is only reporting less than $200,000 for its opening weekend. It was made with a budget of $3.5 million. I don’t recall seeing much advertising for it.
ADRIANA THE CINEMA SOLOIST