Written and directed by Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” tells the story of Star (Sasha Lane), a poor girl from Texas who decides to join a ragtag group of young adults trying to sell magazines in the Midwest. She is recruited by the charming but shifty Jake (Shia LaBeouf), whom she falls for.
The film starts out promising, really putting you in the action of the story as Star takes a flyer on this group of “rejects.” Her desperation for survival and her attraction to Jake really shine through and the camerawork makes you feel as if you are really there.
However, the film is nearly three hours long, and by the middle of the story, the viewer knows where the narrative is going which really makes the last half feel especially cumbersome.
It’s a shame because the story as a parable is very interesting; a modern-day Oliver Twist set in the Great Recession. Some stronger editing and a stronger ending would have really made the film a winner.