From my Cannes Film festival review, posted on 5.14.16: Andrea Arnold‘s American Honey is the second truly exceptional film I’ve seen in Cannes since the festival began last Wednesday night. It’s a kind of Millenial Oliver Twist road flick with Fagin played by both Shia Labeouf and Riley Keogh (Elvis’s granddaughter) and Oliver played by Sasha Lane…but with some good earthy sex thrown in. There’s no question that Honey stakes out its own turf and whips up a tribal lather that feels exuberant and feral and non-deodorized. It doesn’t have anything resembling a plot but it doesn’t let that deficiency get in the way. Honey throbs, sweats, shouts, jumps around and pushes the nervy. (Somebody wrote that it’s Arnold channelling Larry Clark.) It’s a wild-ass celebration of a gamey, hand-to-mouth mobile way of life. And every frame of Robbie Ryan‘s lensing (at 1.37:1, no less!) is urgent and vital.
American Honey, which runs 2 hours and 42 minutes, has been playing about seven weeks now and has earned a total of $1,664.187 so far. It should have done better. A film this alive and nervy and sweaty and carnal should absolutely be seen by anyone who wants more than the usual megaplex crap. Really. Wake up.