• Easily the best film to date from Arnold– and another boost for the A24 brand
  • social commentary- “I’m the spiderman of the dumpster”- much of film is through the eyes of these troubled impoverished youth (sort of a 21st century Dead End kids)– selling magazines in areas with large houses, rich subdivisions (until the end when we see a lower income neighborhood)
  • Part gorgeous travelogue and part tender love story
  • wonderful use of music while riding in the van- modern day Easy Rider in many ways – non-professional actors used throughout including lead role Sasha Lane

wonderful use of music while riding in the van- modern day Easy Rider in many ways – non-professional actors used throughout including lead role Sasha Lane

  • music like “We Found Love” (in a hopeless place– here the young lovers meet in a KMart)- from Rihanna, Carnage with “I Like Tuh” (as the van bounces)- and the title song from Lady Antebellum give the film a hypnotic rhythm. The title song features a cast sing-a-long of sorts that has delivers a powerful scene. Arnold is almost saying “all of these kids have a story to tell”
  • Epic in scope (163 minutes) and stylistic ambition– cinema verite handheld– heavy closeups, fuzzy focus throttling, reoccurring use of sun spots

Epic in scope (163 minutes) and stylistic ambition– cinema verite handheld– heavy closeups, fuzzy focus throttling, reoccurring use of sun spots

  • just not a story we see often– kids form lower income in the southeast– complete with Keough’s confederate flag (showing us she’s the villain here) bikini. The American flag us used several times throughout as well– Lane says “I feel like I’m f*cking America”–

this as of 2020 — this is the best work to date for Shia LeBeouf and Riley Keough (though her work in The Lodge is close)– Keough’s confederate flag (showing us she’s the villain here) bikini

  • the road trip that goes nowhere but has much to say– in at least three separate scenes Lane’s character frees a trapped bee, bug, or turtle (finale)
  • One scene I would definitely remove is the “social commentary is too on the nose” scene with the little kid reciting lyrics of Dead Kennedys song “I kill children” towards the end of the film—it hurts the film
  • Some critics were down on the over the top social commentary and statement on poverty (a la Korine’s film– the stunning 2012 Spring Breakers film– also from A24- but Arnold has some real sincerity here and it’s an actual real love story)– there are different goals between Arnold and Korine-American Honey is quite moving
  • Strong resume builders for Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough
  • Highly Recommend / Must See border