2016: A Space Odyssey. Andrea Arnold’s American Honey.
I saw Andrea Arnold’s American Honey this afternoon. It’s a beautiful movie, and one that had me bouncing between every emotion for the entirety of its near-three hour running-time.
A road-movie that takes in a random chunk of the United States, Arnold’s film plays a little like The Odyssey transferred to contemporary America (Homegirl’s Odyssey?), or The Grapes Of Wrath. The new poverty of America Now! is a current staple of political and human interest news reporting, and has been since the depression took hold in 2008. American Honey charts these lost territories and these lost people, misfits both as place and folk, and presents them in a way that as such is extremely affecting. Witness, the bare human interactions that take place between the film’s protagonist, Star (portrayed by Sasha Lane; it sounds trite, but this really does feel like a star-making turn for the previously unknown actor), and the people she meets along her journey. Incidentally, these people are generally good in nature, helpful strangers keen to see her right, with those closest to her the ones that bring her down. It’s a hopeful tale, with optimism rising through the dark, nay, pitch-black episodes that punctuate the human experience, and one that ought linger long after the fact.