‘Honey Boy’: A Raw and Therapeutic Story Made From Real Life

In Honey Boy, writer and actor Shia LeBeouf traces back to his childhood to tell an intimate and reflective story about trauma.

CREDIT: Amazon Studios

Alma Har’el directs a script written by Shia LeBeouf starring himself playing the father of a child actor opposite Noah Jupe’s Ottis. The story is based on LeBeouf’s life growing up with his father and how it parallels with his life after his incident with the police as portrayed by Lucas Hedges. The script was written during Shia LeBeouf’s time in rehab and translated to the silver screen this year to tell one of the most intimate stories of 2019.

I truly have no idea how to even start elaborating on my thoughts on this film. The best way I can actually describe this movie is as something that I felt I should not be seeing, but I felt so grateful to be watching. Shia LeBeouf is so brave to have written such an incredibly detailed and personal story. The fact that he trusted Alma Har’el to direct instead of him shows the level of maturity in Shia to tell this story. There are movies where I mention them as cinema in its purest form and this is definitely one of those examples.

Some more standouts other than the beautiful cinematography and exquisite production design are the performances. Shia LeBeouf gives a once in a lifetime performance as his father that feels therapeutic throughout the picture. You can truly feel every inch of emotion being poured out of every word spoken by him in every scene he is in. My biggest takeaway was actually Noah Jupe’s stunning performance as Ottis. He is an incredible talent throughout the movie and is always on the level of Shia never missing a single beat. Not much to say that is not already known about Lucas Hedges but he once again does an impeccable job at playing present time Ottis.

As the year winds down Honey Boy is one of the best that has been released. This is one to watch as soon as possible. I will say this too, Shia LeBeouf deserves to be nominated for his performance and writing such a profound picture. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, Honey Boy surprises you and makes a case for one of the best of the year.