Honey Boy Trailer

One of the breakout films of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival was Honey Boy, the harrowing tale of a child actor (Noah Jupe) stuck in an abusive relationship with his manipulative, alcoholic father, and the toll it takes on his life when he’s an adult movie star (Lucas Hedges) making millions. What makes this story so captivating is that it’s actually the autobiographical tale of actor Shia LaBeouf, as he grew up making a Disney Channel show with his own father as his caretaker and acting coach. Adding to that is the fact that Shia LaBeouf also plays his own father, exorcising some of his personal demons. Watch the Honey Boy trailer below.

Honey Boy Trailer

You’ll spot a quote from yours truly in the trailer above, and there’s plenty to praise in this film, especially when it comes to the performances of Shia LaBeouf and Noah Jupe. While LaBeouf delivers what I called “a truly astounding, emotional gut-punch of a performance,” Jupe is right there with him carrying “a subtle trace of the child inside who craves affection and care, hoping that his father will one day actually turn over a new leaf and be the kind of role model and parent he needs during his formative years.”

This film also marks the directorial debut of director Alma Har’el, who not only brings demons of her own to this movie thanks to her own alcoholic father, but a storytelling style that is intimate, intense and visually impressive. Amazon is undoubtedly hoping that this will be an awards contender this season, and any accolades and awards thrown at this movie would be well-deserved.

If you’d like to watch the green band trailer instead of the red band one above, here you go:

From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach, LoveTrue) brings to life a young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health. Fictionalizing his ascent to stardom, and subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har’el casts Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) and Lucas Hedges (Boy ErasedManchester by the Sea) as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Dancer-singer FKA twigs makes her feature-film debut, playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home. Har’el’s feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as medicine and imagination as hope through the life and times of a talented, traumatized performer who dares to go in search of himself.

Honey Boy arrives in theaters on November 8, 2019.

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