With the praise that’s been heaped on American Honey by various critics you would think that you were going to the cinema to see some kind of masterpiece.
Well I have to say tread wary as American Honey won’t be for everyone.
Written and directed by Englishman, Andrea Arnold, American Honey is a meandering road movie that feels all of its running time of 164 minutes.
The American Honey of the title is Star (an outstanding performance from newcomer Sasha Lane), a young girl who when escaping the drudgery of life and the
trouble she has at home, joins a travelling gang of deadbeats who collect magazine subscriptions whilst going door to door.
Travelling in a minivan and being led by their Fagin-like leader, Krystal (Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough), who runs the group, none of which
are very likable, with an iron fist and failure won’t be tolerated. Fail to meet your targets and you’re liable to be dumped at the side of the road in the
middle of nowhere. The group lives by a code, all of which are not surprisingly set out by Krystal. One of the things that she discourages is romantic
liaisons in the group and when Star falls for Krystal’s protégée and occasional lover, Jake (Shia LaBeouf) tensions start to mount.
Nothing much seems to happen on the groups’ long trip, they seem to spend an eternity sitting in their minivan singing songs, listening to Rihanna and
talking about life. Some scenes, particularly the ones in the minivan feel as if the actors have been allowed to adlib as they ramble on and on. At a
running time of just shy of three hours it sometimes feels as if the director didn’t know when to shout cut.
Aside from a few great performances from Lane and Keough, American Honey is a long hard watch that will have you fidgeting in your seat long before the