Arnold wrestles with the American Dream in this seductive head-rush of a road movie, her first film set Stateside. Star (newcomer Sasha Lane) is a young woman stuck in a bad relationship and a nowhere town, until she meets Jake (Shia LaBeouf), the enigmatic, Bill Sikes-esque ringleader of a gang of teenage outcasts who sell dodgy magazine subscriptions. Star joins his motley crew on a road trip through the backwaters of the Midwest, with a 16-seater van as their vessel, and a soundtrack that spans country, rock, hip-hop and Rihanna to carry them along. Working once again with masterly cinematographer Robbie Ryan, Arnold forges her own raw brand of Americana and, in the process, delivers perhaps the freshest film about young people in America since Larry Clark’s Kids in 1995. A triumph.
American Honey | Directed by Andrea Arnold (USA 2016) with Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf. Out October 13.