American Honey

American Honey ★★★★

It feels sometimes like movies have given up on themselves, that they're gasping for some kind of relevance and it's gotten so bad that they're not even able to deliver on the basic fundamentals of stupid entertainment. Then I see something like this and am temporarily buoyed and remember why I love them; how they rely on your active participation, and how great films succeed at the effective transferal of subliminal feeling. This movie felt very fragile to me, with a kindness that is almost heroic. The routes you think it will take deflect the usual clichés and instead guide you somewhere better; and you feel grateful for it because it means whoever's behind the wheel respects you. Over and over I found myself nodding with each decision the director or editor or cinematographer or an actor made, thinking 'okay, this is right, this is true, this is reaching for something.

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