“Anybody gonna miss you?” “Not really.” “Good, you’re hired.” This is how teenager Star (a striking debut by Sasha Lane) begins a career as a hawker of magazines when she leaves home and joins a motley group of young people (most of whom are played by amateurs) as they smoke weed, sing, make love, steal, quarrel and fight their way across the USA in a van, in the first American film by British director Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights).
This energetically meandering On the Road for millennials has a soundtrack rich in hip-hop and is filmed in a hand-held, documentary style. Here, freedom is not (as it was for Kerouac) the dream, but the enemy. Like all road movies, American Honey is about an inner journey (along the way Star falls for her flirty colleague Jake, played by Shia LaBeouf), meanwhile giving a rare impression of young people trying to find their way in the underbelly of American society.
Also see Masterclass Andrea Arnold.