In Honey Boy, the latest feature from director Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach), Shia LaBeouf plays a fictionalized version of his real-life father, and Lucas Hedges and Noah Jupe play fictionalized versions of LaBeouf. Yet despite the strange premise — did I forget to mention that LaBeouf-as-his-dad is an alcoholic, washed-up rodeo clown who lives in a trailer park? — Honey Boy is relatively straight-forward, as seen in the trailer above. And our own Mike Ryan’s review when the film premiered at Sundance: “You might expect it to be a little more peculiar,” he wrote. “It may have benefited by being a little weirder.” Judge for yourself, but fair warning: no scene is set on the dark of the moon.
Now that would be weird. Here’s the official plot summary:
Fictionalizing his ascent to stardom, and subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery, director Alma Har’el casts Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Dancer-singer FKA twigs makes her feature-film debut, playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home. Har’el’s feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as medicine and imagination as hope through the life and times of a talented, traumatized performer who dares to go in search of himself.
Honey Boy is out November 8.