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  • Writer's pictureJack Aling

Honey Boy - Review (London Film Festival 2019)

Lie for a Living. 4.5 / 5

Directed by Alma Har’el. The story of a child star attempting to mend his relationship with his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father over the course of a decade, loosely based on Shia LaBeouf’s life.

Starting with a bang, Honey Boy is a deeply honest film that looks at family, relationships, fame and the effect that can have on an individual.

In an incredibly brave project, LaBeouf recounts his life in a semi-biographical film which he wrote in rehab and even went on to play the father figure that once give his life so much pain.

A therapeutic piece, the story follows Otis as he grows up in the public eye and later on in rehab as he contemplates how he got in his current situation.

A superbly directed film by Alma Har'el in her first narrative piece, by using long unbroken takes - it puts the dialogue and performances first. And that is really this film's true strength.

In such an honest film, LaBeouf, Hedges and Jupe all give incredible performances that match the impact of the material. Pushed to the limit and with the weight of the world on their shoulders, the father-son relationship and the focus on mental health really is a delightful thing to watch.

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