Staring Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe, FKA twigs and Lucas Hedges.
Directed by: Alma Har’el
This film I almost watched at a film festival way back in October, but the showing was sold out. Honey Boy tells the story of Otis’ life as a child actor who spends a lot of time with his father, and where that ultimately leads him as he gets older. It is based on Shia’s real life and on his real father. I would highly recommend watching some interviews of Shia talking about this film and what his father thought of the movie. The interviews really give you a deeper insight on this complex film.
When I watch films, I always write down things I liked, scenes that surprised me or inspired me. For this film, I wrote down 3 whole pages of notes, so let me try to condense them real quick for you. Why you should watch this film:
- Each scene is rich with context and meaning. Every single scene has a purpose and adds to the overall story. Even a scene about Otis and his father getting tacos turns into something more than what it first appears to be.
- Incredible acting by all of the actors.
- Real flawed characters. REAL, not cookie-cutter.
- This film makes you feel all of the emotions: guilt, sadness, happiness, relief, grief, innocence and the lose of it. It truly is art.
- Brilliantly directed to convey emotion.
One of the scenes that stood out to me was when Otis talks to his mother over the phone and relays to his father what his mother is saying to him. Young Otis (Noah Jupe) acts as both his mother and father by changing his tone of voice. Noah does an incredible job, he is so talented. This moment conveys so much meaning and was beautifully done.
Another scene I liked was when the shy girl (FKA Twigs) and Otis sit by the swimming pool, watching a snake swim. This brilliant metaphor lets the audience in on the two character’s emotions. I am writing a post about my favorite quotes from this film, because there are many, one of which was said during this scene.
Finally, the last scene of Otis and his father riding off together on the motorcycle made me cry. It was … I have no words. When Otis was younger, he rode on the back of his father’s bike. Now he is riding on the front of a bike, with his father on the back.
Highlights / What to think about:
Watching this film, I felt overwhelmed with emotion. I could relate to some things and could not relate to others. I think it is important to realize that this film is about someone’s actual life. It can be easy to say it is “beautiful”. Yes, the film is. But the emotions is in this film are someone’s actual life and are very much real. Going through these hard ships leaves a mark on someone and makes them who they are, but that does not take away how hard the bad times were. I think I just want to point out that although this film is wonderfully done, it is important to remember that it is art. This film is an hour and a half, when in reality, this was 20 years of someone’s life.
Watch this film: 9/10
I enjoyed this film, I really, truly did. I think good films make you learn more about yourself and encourage you to explore more. This film definitely did that. Whether you see a part of you in Otis, or in his father, I think you will enjoy watching this movie. It will give you a new perspective that you never knew you needed.
Otis is a happy, innocent kid that does the best he can to stay positive in such a negative, wild situation.
P.S. I am rewatching this film as I write this post, THAT is how incredible this movie is. I need to watch it again to take it all in.