The story of a child star attempting to mend his relationship with his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father over the course of a decade, loosely based on Shia LaBeouf’s life.
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"I have never watched a movie quite like “Honey Boy.” On its surface, it is a narrative about a twenty-something-year-old actor (Lucas Hedges as Otis) who is out of control. From the very beginning, we can tell he is wrestling with untamed demons from his past. To understand the choices he is currently making, we are taken back to the beginning and meet a child (Noah Jupe as Otis) who is pushed too hard by his father (Shia LaBeouf as James). This is where the story gets really interesting because this movie is inspired by real-life events from Shia LaBeouf’s time as a child actor. Much of what we are experiencing on the screen, he endured at the hands of his father as he was beginning his career. This approach to storytelling is the most courageous piece of cinema I saw last year. James, for his part, is a really complicated man. At times, he can be really loving and supportive. Within moments of doing something any decent father would do, a switch can flip, and he can become abusive, violent, and a self-imposed victim of martyrdom. For Otis, this means constantly walking on eggshells and loneliness expressed by many child actors. As we watch him navigate this complicated relationship, we know he is going to come out on the other end damaged. The only question left to answer is to what depths will the damage reach. As this film enters its third act, Otis the child, and Otis the adult begin to defend themselves in pretty powerful ways. They both make brave decisions to no longer be used. For the younger Otis, this means confronting his father with the absolute truth. For the adult version, a new idea is born. “A seed must destroy itself to grow again.” If he ever wants to be happy and healthy, he must make himself new and in his own image, not that of his father. As the screen blackens, this message is a powerful one to ponder as you make your way home. "
"It was very good"
"Kind of disturbing but cathartic"
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