Sunday, October 23, 2016
Perhaps it has to do with its setting. Rather than Glasgow or East London, American Honey (as the title clearly implies) is set within the American Midwest. But similar to Arnold's earlier films, it shows how the lower middle class lives. It's not an ideal situation for them but they're happy they have a roof over their heads.
American Honey doesn't shy away from the flaws within Star (a very promising Sasha Lane). She runs away from the humdrum domestic life she's been enduring for a new one on the road. She may come off as impulsive initially but both Arnold and Lane show that Star has a good head on her shoulders overall.
Similar to Hell or High Water a few months earlier, American Honey provides an outsider's glimpse on the decaying American economy. (Like David Mackenzie, Arnold hails from the United Kingdom.) It also has a more sympathetic depiction of poverty, something fiction tends to glamorize a good majority of the time.
It may be polarizing to some and overlong to others but American Honey overall shows how the struggling middle class lives. As Arnold showed with her previous films, she shows how the average woman lives in far from ordinary situations.
My Rating: ****1/2