Country: United States
Running Time: 93min
Film Year: 2019
Artists often draw from real life experience, but few approach this practice quite like actor Shia LaBeouf. Having received court-ordered therapy writing while in rehab, LaBeouf – who over the years has been the subject of numerous public misbehavior headlines – took the mandated writing and turned it into something tremendous: the screenplay for Honey Boy.
Directed by Alma Har’el, Honey Boy was inspired by LaBeouf’s early life growing up as a child actor. With a focus on the potency of memories, the film cuts back and forth between the past and present. In the present, Otis (Lucas Hedges) is in rehab – he’s struggling with addiction while trying to make peace with the demons of his past. Flash back to 12-year-old Otis (Noah Jupe), a young actor on the rise who is under the guardianship of his alcoholic, ex-rodeo clown father, James (LaBeouf).
In an ingenious move, LaBeouf takes on the role of his own abusive father. The end result isn’t just the best performance of the actor’s entire career – it’s revelatory. A confessional outpour on the lasting effects of childhood trauma, this Sundance hit is at turns poignant, devastating, and blindingly authentic.
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Director: Alma Har'el
Producer: Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Christopher Leggett, Daniela Taplin Lundberg
Screenwriter: Shia Labeouf
Production Company: Amazon
Music: Alex Somers
Cinematographer: Natasha Braier
Editor: Mónica Salazar, Dominic Laperriere