“Honey Boy” stars Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, and FKA Twigs. Released on November 8, 2019, the film chronicles the life of a movie star and his relationship with his father.
The film is directed by Alma Har’el, who is known for directing the 2011 documentary “Bombay Beach”. It’s always interesting to see someone turn their feelings and their past experiences into works of art, whether it’s a painting or a film. Most of us don’t see things the way others do, but we can all admit that their creativities are worth appreciating. This film seems to have the right idea as it was written by none other than Shia LaBeouf, who spent his time in rehab creating the script. This is another film that was able to catch my interest because of LaBeouf’s involvement as an actor and as a writer. Unfortunately, I had to wait a while until it plays at my closest cinema for me to see how it all unfolds, and by a while, I mean a month after its release. Fortunately, the wait was worth it.
The film tells the tale of Otis (Hedges), a movie star who gets sent to a rehab facility after getting into a violent, drunken altercation with the police. During his time there, he recounts his past in which the young Otis (Jupe) is accompanied by his aggressive father (LaBeouf), a former rodeo clown, during his career as a child actor. “Honey Boy” is best described as an act of cinematic therapy mostly due to the fact that it is based on LaBeouf’s childhood and his complicated relationship with his own father. To me, this is his way of expressing his own personal feelings to the world, and the way he expressed it was downright beautiful. The best part about that was that it was brilliantly told in a span of under two hours. Alma Har’el has the type of vision that’s not only gorgeous and poetic, but it’s also filled with the right amount of emotion to make me relate to the characters and their relationships. Lucas Hedges and Noah Jupe were both stunning as the old and young versions of Otis, and Shia LaBeouf’s performance as his father was obviously incredible. This is the second film he’s been in that managed to impress me this year, with the first being “The Peanut Butter Falcon”. In addition to his performance, he has actually proven himself to be a respectable screenwriter. He told a story that came from his heart and Alma Har’el was responsible for bringing that story to life. The end result is a script that honors the emotional path to forgiveness. As for its flaws…well, actually, there wasn’t anything I would change to make it better. It’s fine the way it is.
Overall, “Honey Boy” is a well-crafted and passionate tale that fully represents Shia LaBeouf as an actor and as a storyteller. The cast is great, the screenplay is full of honesty and emotion, and Har’el’s vision is immensely attractive. If it’s playing at a theater near you, it is definitely worth checking out.