Filmmaker Alma Har’el on Shia LeBeouf and the Truth of HONEY BOY – Sarah Knight Adams interviews

Honey Boy, her first narrative feature film, premiered in the dramatic competition at Sundance 2019, where Alma Har’el won the Special Jury Award for Vision and Craft. Honey Boy is based on the volatile upbringing of actor Shia LeBeouf, who wrote the script during his ordered re-hab stay. He reached out to Har’el and asked her to direct the feature film about his life, with him playing the character based on his father, a rodeo-clown, haunted with regrets.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 8, 2019 – HONEY BOY

Part coming-of-age drama, part father-son story, and part therapy, “Honey Boy” is a compelling take on actor Shia LaBeouf’s troubled childhood and controversial behavior as a Hollywood star. Working from LaBeouf’s own script, director Alma Har’el builds sympathy for both LaBeouf and his father without excusing either for their actions.

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HONEY BOY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

In Honey Boy, Shia LeBeouf takes ownership of his own screwed-up childhood back when he starred on a Disney Channel series and splashes it on the big screen in a form of performance therapy. This biographical shrink session, based on a script he wrote as part of his rehab, is a far cry from his Transformers sci-fi blockbusters that get a skewering in the opening moments. On top of that, he makes matters even more interesting by playing his own shiftless, unstable and self-absorbed abusive father – probably the most honest acting he will ever achieve as he attempts to shoo away the demons that haunt him.

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HONEY BOY – Review by Loren King

Alma Har’el, best known for the 2011 documentary Bombay Beach with its intimate moments of beauty in a gritty story about life on the margins, must be credited for the searing, memory-soaked urgency of Honey Boy, her fiction directing debut. What could have been a maudlin melodrama about family dysfunction is instead, despite the heartbreaking and disturbing abusive father-son relationship at the center, a haunting and lyrical memory piece.

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HONEY BOY – Review by Sheila Roberts

Shia LaBeouf delves into the darkest recesses of his soul in Amazon’s riveting Honey Boy based on his autobiographical screenplay about a young actor’s tumultuous childhood and early adult years as he attempts to reconcile his love for his alcoholic father with his pain. Honey Boy is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. It’s transcendent cinema told with authenticity and brutal honesty. This is a beautifully crafted film, and the impressive work by director Alma Har’el, the ensemble and DP Natasha Braier make them worthy contenders for consideration this awards season.

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