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American Honey a gritty, captivating look at a lost generation

Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf star in American Honey.

4 out of 4 stars

Title
American Honey
Written by
Andrea Arnold
Directed by
Andrea Arnold
Starring
Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough
Genre
Drama
Classification
18A
Country
U.K./USA
Language
English
Year
2016

American Honey will make you feel dirty. Not because it features several scenes of barely clothed young people grinding up against each other (though they are designed to arouse, successfully) but because director Andrea Arnold is so fascinated with the sheer amount of grime, filth and decay that, in her vision at least, constitute the American South. It's there that the British filmmaker chronicles the exploits of Star (Sasha Lane), orphan to a meth-head mother, and her merry band of youthful delinquents (including Shia LaBeouf, at his rattiest) who eke out a living selling – of all things – magazine subscriptions. Don't worry: The ferociously brilliant Arnold (Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights) doesn't spend much time on the ins and outs of the magazine industry so much as she languidly follows a lost generation as they stumble from one hollowed-out town to the next, trying to hold on to anything they can (love, sex, drugs, more sex) as their lives slowly slip out of focus. It's bold, captivating cinema, with a soundtrack that threatens to never leave your head.

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About the Author

Barry Hertz is the deputy arts editor and film editor for The Globe and Mail. He previously served as the Executive Producer of Features for the National Post, and was a manager and writer at Maclean’s before that. His arts and culture writing has also been featured in several publications, including Reader’s Digest and NOW Magazine. More

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