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Pic about rootless and emotionally battered characters is sweet and soulful
AMERICAN HONEY (Andrea Arnold). 163 minutes. Opens Friday (October 14). See listing. Rating: NNNN
American Honey is the millennial Grapes Of Wrath.
British director Andrea Arnold rebounds from her oppressive Wuthering Heights adaptation with a ravishing and hypnotic road movie that kicks up dust along American highways, riding on the blistering energy of its young cast and the “get money” pop-tunes they sing along to.
Newcomer Sasha Lane has a dynamite presence as Star, an 18-year-old who escapes a trailer park and hitches a ride with a band of misfits selling magazine subscriptions. Among them is a never-better Shia LeBeouf, whose career high may be the moment he lathers tanning oil on Riley Keough’s queen bee (you’ll have to see what I mean).
Anyone familiar with Arnold’s work knows they’re going to be staring into the cruellest patches of humanity and poverty. What sets American Honey apart is that it’s genuinely hopeful and affectionate toward its young characters, and simply rolls with their resolutely carefree ways.
We’re not just watching a bunch of rootless and emotionally battered youth from above, but searching alongside them for some semblance of comfort.
Don’t miss our feature with Sasha Lane and Riley Keough here.