Honey Boy is Shia LeBeouf’s passion project, recounting his formative years as a child actor and his dysfunctional relationship with his father. The deeply personal and somber nature will either have you embracing its themes or denouncing its characters. Let’s consider the pros and cons…
Pros: Shia LeBeouf not only writes this emotionally devastating story about his upbringing, but plays the role of his own father. An undoubtedly therapeutic process that is mirrored by Lucas Hedges, who portrays Shia’s adult self in rehab writing this very story. Another resounding positive is how director Alma Har’el brings out spectacular performances from all three leads. She doesn’t shy away from the rawness of the character’s circumstances and captures it beautifully. Finally, the theme of acknowledging your parent’s role in your life, whether good or bad, is powerfully displayed. It also allows an otherwise dour movie to end on an uplifting and inspiring note.
Cons: This drama is unfortunately true to a fault. The plot is depressing and rarely broken up with any joy or hope. Because like real life, there isn’t always a reason to be happy or optimistic. Correspondingly, Shia’s depiction of his father is unfavorable to say the least. This could pull you out of the movie by making you wonder whether Shia is being faithful to his upbringing or is using his creative license to exaggerate his frustrations. All in all, these are minor flaws that hardly detract from such a well made film.
I give Honey Boy an A-. It’s an emotional slice of life story whose autobiographical nature makes its message all the more impactful. Happy Watching!
Where to Watch
- Amazon Prime with subscription
“Make me look good, Honey Boy.”