American Honey

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Rated Greg’s All-Time Favorite Movie Soundtracks – Ranked

  1. Dazed and Confused
  2. Belly
  3. O Brother, Where Art Thou
  4. Pulp Fiction American Honey
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Pulp Fiction

In Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, a troop of unfastened, wild ass kids travel the American heartland by van, partying and selling magazine subscriptions door to door as they go. First off, I find the casting of this movie fascinating. Aside from a rat-tailed Shia LaBeouf and Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough (love her) playing the leaders of the pack, the rest of the cast is made up of actual wild ass kids in real life that have little to no acting experience. Arnold, who wrote and directed the film, traveled the country holding open auditions in random parking lots and approaching 17-22 year olds that she thought fit the bill. She even met a then 20 year old Sasha Lane, who plays the main protagonist Star in her first acting credit, on the beach in Panama City during spring break (pictured below). Arnold then rounded up all of these young heathens, who had no qualms dropping whatever else they were doing at the time, and had them hit the road. Shot chronologically, there is a clear story arc about Star coming into her own, but a lot of the conversations and interactions to get her there appear improvised.

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The best part of American Honey in my opinion is the extremely eclectic soundtrack. Juicy J, Springsteen, Raury, Sam Hunt, E-40, Lady Antebellum, Migos, Madeintyo, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Carnage…its an impressive collection for a movie that I have to imagine had a pretty small budget. And a lot of these artists aren’t even really my steez typically (nothing makes me feel older than hearing modern hip hop while out on the town and not getting it) but each pick works so well within the film that I have a newfound appreciation for them. Particularly, there’s a scene set to Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” that is just perfect.

american-honey

I definitely recommend American Honey and I doubt I’m in the minority on this. It won the Jury Prize at Cannes, which is the festival’s bronze medal, and also scored an 81% on RT. But I should warn you that it’s a long friggin’ movie clocking in at 162 minutes, so you should probably wait until you can see it from the comfy confines of your own home.  Tier 2 – Runner Up

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