American Honey Blu-ray Review
Strong performances can’t quite salvage the anti-climactic “American Honey.”
After dumpster diving with her siblings, Star encounters a car full of young people and immediately becomes intrigued by one of them (Jake). Jake offers her an enticing job offer of traveling the country selling magazines in a free spirited fashion. Tired of her broken home and poverty stricken life, Star decides to run off with Jake, bitchy business manager Krystal, and the rest of the group to embark on a life on the road. It is here that the caring Star finds love, a new family (of sorts), danger, meaning, among other life experiences.
Writer/director Andrea Arnold’s “Oliver Twist” esque tale of immature, lost, wild, rebellious, and free youth that screw around, drink, do drugs, earn money, travel, blast music, and party starts off promising enough, but the film’s free flowing fly-on-the-wall approach soon wears thin. Rather than building to something or indeed offering some sort of closure to the main character of Star, the film meanders on for an excessively long 162 minutes that is primarily comprised of repetitive scenes of wandering around and magazine sales. You’re left wanting more, but not in a good way.
Luckily, the frustrating film is anchored by a trio of standout performances by Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, and Riley Keough. If you didn’t know this was Lane’s first movie you would have never been able to tell as she gives a completely naturalistic and striking debut performance. Something tells me we will be seeing more of her soon. Shia gets a lot of flack these days, but I’ve always been a fan as he has shown a lot of range throughout his career. His turn in “American Honey” further illustrates that. Riley garnered some attention in “The Girlfriend Experience” series earlier this year, but she is far more impressive here as a complex business manager that helps out and takes advantage of the youth.
Presentation: 1.33:1. How does it look? Despite the unusual format for a modern film, this is a crisp hi-def transfer.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The music is lively but the dialogue sounds a bit low for my taste in certain scenes.
Extras include a Digital copy, Lionsgate trailers, and a short featurette titled “Sasha Lane and Riley Keough On American Honey” in which the two actresses talk about the film, their roles, and the production.
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