"Shia LaBeouf and Sasha Lane, give soulful performance, portraying the struggles and desperation of their characters truthfully"

Written and directed by Andrea Arnold, American Honey is a movie that wants to tell a never before told story about America, through the eyes of a young woman trying to discover her place in the world.

Set in the South countries in America, the movie follows Star, a young girl with a troubled past, who decides to travel around the US with a young crew of magazine sellers. Through her journey driving in a van and sharing motel rooms, Star tries her best to fit in with this big group of lost misfits while starting to fall in love with Jake, one of the best magazine sellers of the crew and the one who spotted her and offered her the job.

Even though the story highlights a fractured side of America, showing the struggle of the lower class and how easy it is for young adults, who don't have a chance to get an education, who fall in a world filled by drugs and abuse, the execution and the characterisation of the protagonists, althoug the story is patched and superficial.

Directing wise Andrea Arnold's use of the camera is phenomenal; her technique is poetic even in shooting the harshest of scenes. Rather than focusing on the bigger picture, she points the camera at the smallest detail distracting the audience from the crudeness of the scene, but at the same time reminding them that it is still happening before their eyes.

However, this kind of artful distraction doesn't imply that the film shies away from reality, on the contrary, Arnold films everything that is happening in the story. In fact, almost like in a documentary, her camera follows and captures every moment, including the intimate but strong love scenes between Star and Jack.

Moreover, another aspect that makes her technique particularly great is the fact that, while the close ups and the blurred shots are there to lighten the more bitter and rough scenes, the panoramic takes of the American landscape showcase the beauty of a Country that is surrounded by social filth.

Unfortunately, the poetic use of the camera doesn't save the whole movie and the apparently pointless development of the story. The characters are not strong enough. They don't have an evolution and they don't learn any important lesson through their journey. Every once in awhile the audience gets a glimpse of what both Star and Jack desire for their future, but as the movie progresses, they remain just that, unfulfilled dreams of a broken youth.

This underdeveloped characterisation of the characters makes the plot of the story repetitive and by the end, the movie feels an hour too long. Nonetheless, the cast ensemble, especially Shia LaBeouf and Sasha Lane, give soulful performance, portraying the struggles and desperation of their characters truthfully and bringing to the screen a story about broken hopes and harsh realities in an America that can't offer its oh so longed for dream.