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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Don Reviews "Honey Boy"

There are a lot of films where art imitates life, but how many actors get to play a major role in a film that is based on their own personal events?

“Honey Boy” is the latest film directed by Alma Har’el (Lovetrue), and is the semi-autobiographical story of Shia LeBouf portrayed by Otis (Lucas Hedges at twenty-two and Noah Jupe at twelve), going back and forth from his time as a child actor and in adulthood going through court-mandated rehab after a number of incidents. Otis, as a child, lives in a motel with his father (LeBouf) who has issues of his own that include PTSD as a veteran, problems with the law and addiction. Otis’s mother is basically non existent in his life as his father also works as his manager, pushing him to extremes to bring money in. In this situation, Otis is forced to grow up quickly while trying to still be a kid at the same time while his father continues to spin out of control.

I liked the cinematography style here, from the rehab facility and also the studio sets, but it really shines at the motel. Showing how rough life was for Otis while dealing with his father really brought it home for me, while LaBeouf does an incredible job playing the part of his real life father. His portrayal is so strong in showing his struggles as a man who can’t seem to get out of his own way constantly that there needs to be some discussion for him early next year. I also have to give shout out to Jupe, who really nails it as a young boy who has to be the responsible person in his home and should be noticed as well, and to FKA Twigs as the prostitute he befriends, who although she had a few speaking roles, her body language does the acting for her.

With all of the time jumping, I was able to follow the story very well between the older and younger Otis, but is important to pay attention due to the ninety-five minute run time. I enjoyed the story itself very much, especially the relationship between the young Otis and his father, but my biggest gripe is that I felt the film ended with not giving a true end for both the old and young Otis. I was left wondering how it ended up for both characters, even to show a graphic at the top of the end credits. Beyond that, the film is very good one, so I will give it the twilight showing in the theaters recommendation.

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