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Honey Boy

This is Shia LaBeouf’s autobiographical film based on his early years as a child actor. Shia LaBeouf plays his own father, a second rate clown, and wrote the screenplay. The film flips back and forth in time between LaBeouf as a 12-year-old child (played by Noah Jupe) and as a troubled young adult (played by Lucas Hedges). I really liked the film. It is very gritty; his dad was not a very nice man, and their life in the skid-row motel in which they lived is pretty bleak. But his story is a fascinating one to watch, and you can tell that LaBeouf probably found some kind of therapy in making this film. But he tells his story with the rawness of the truth but also the love that he continues to have for his father. It is also funny in places; he keeps the film from getting maudlin. The acting is wonderful; this is probably one of LaBeouf’s best roles (although I really loved his performance in Peanut Butter Falcon earlier this year). Lucas Hedges seems to be the “go-to person” for troubled youth roles, which he does well. But Noah Jupe is marvelous; his performance is award-worthy. Thumbs up from me for a film has a unique vision and adds something new to the recovery genre. (2019; 4 Stars)

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