Honeyboy is about the trauma that you can inherit from your parents and how hard it is not to love them in spite of it all. It’s a movie about recognising your own problems as they happen but still feeling powerless to stop them.
It’s also a movie completely about Shia LaBeouf’s childhood and his relationship with his father.
What Is Honey Boy About?
Written by Shia himself, the actor takes inspiration from his starring role in Disney’s Even Stevens, his breakout Hollywood turns in the Transformers movies, and his personal struggles along the way.
Facts About the Film
Shia LaBeouf was arrested for public intoxication in July of 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. He was ordered to attend a 10-week rehab program, where he discovered that he had PTSD and began writing the screenplay for Honey Boy.
The opening shot of Honey Boy has Lucas Hedges (playing Shia La Beouf) yelling “No, no, no, no!” several times, before getting launched in the air during an action sequence. This is a self-aware reference by Shia LaBeouf, who has been known to yell the word “No” repeatedly often in movies, particularly during the Transformers films.
During filming, Lucas Hedges spent a lot of time in Shia’s house. It ended up scaring Shia, who ended up moving into a hotel temporarily. Hedges acting is scarily accurate to Shia’s mannerisms, which could be due to the amount of time the actor studied LaBeouf.
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What Makes Honey Boy So Good?
The two actors playing the fictional Labeouf (Otis) are particularly strong. Lucas Hedges continues his streak of giving solid work in independent projects. He also does a crazy good impersonation of Labeouf, with his mannerisms and vocals being absolutely spot-on. It’s almost creepy.
However, it’s Noah Jupe who steals the show. He absolutely shines whenever he’s on-screen with Labeouf (who plays the role of his own father). The two of them have incredible energy that is funny and devastating at the same time.
What made this particularly special for me was the way the cinematography, lighting and acting created something that was so intimate and real.
Filmmaker Alma Har’el, was able to create something so real that, at times, as a viewer, it feels as though you’re intruding upon deeply emotional exchanges between ‘Otis’ and his father.
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Shia LaBeouf really blew this one out of the water, he was incredible and his emotional ties to the subject matter created a very unique performance.
I vividly remember rolling my eyes when I heard he’d wrote his own semi-autobiography film, thinking how self-centred could you be?
I of course take back my prior judgement. Despite Honey Boy being a re-telling of Shia LaBeouf’s life on screen, it’s done without a shred of ego.
Everyone on screen gave performances so raw and heartfelt that I am in utter disbelief that this was not all over awards season for this film.
Is Honey Boy The Film For You?
- If you like docu-drama style films with great cinematography and you’re ready to be smacked in the face with every possible emotion, this one’s for you.
- It’s a bit of a slow burner but captivating nonetheless.
- FKA Twigs. That is all.