American Honey

American Honey Information

American Honey is a 2016 British-American drama road movie written and directed by Andrea Arnold. It stars Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, and Riley Keough. It is Arnold's first film to be set and filmed outside of the UK. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes it won the Prix du Jury.


A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a travelling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.


  • Sasha Lane as Star
  • Shia LaBeouf as Jake
  • Arielle Holmes as Pagan
  • Riley Keough as Krystal
  • McCaul Lombardi as Corey
  • Crystal Ice as Katness
  • Chad Cox as Billy
  • Garry Howell as Austin
  • Kenneth Kory Tucker as Sean
  • Raymond Coalson as JJ
  • Isaiah Stone as Valium
  • Dakota Powers as Runt
  • Shawna Rae Moseley as Shunta
  • Chris Wright as Riley


Arnold began writing the screenplay in 2013 and it was first announced under the pre-production title Mag Crew at Film4's 2013 Cannes Film Festival party. Arnold became inspired by lives of American youths in "Magazine Crews" who travel the United States selling magazine subscriptions, an occupation that has caused controversy in the United States. In researching for the film, Arnold embarked on a road trip from California to Miami, Florida. In late 2013, Arnold was the Filmmaker-in-Residence at the New York Film Festival. During this time, she worked on the second draft of the script and used the opportunity to meet with potential casting directors.

In 2014, the film's producers and new title, American Honey, were announced. In 2015, Shia LaBeouf was cast in an unspecified role. In March 2015, casting took place in Oklahoma in preparation for a summer shoot. In early June, Arielle Holmes of the autobiographical film Heaven Knows What was reported to have joined the cast Arnold "street casted" by searching beaches, streets, and approaching drunk teenagers. Arnold discovered Sasha Lane, while she was on spring break with her friends, Lane felt her vibe and decided to audition for the film.


In May 2015, filming was reported in Muskogee, Okmulgee, and Norman, Oklahoma. In late May 2015, production was reported in Mission Hills, Kansas and areas of Kansas City, Missouri. and the police of Missouri Valley, Iowa reported that the film had recently shot in their city. On 9 June, production was taking place in Omaha, Nebraska and Grand Island, Nebraska. On 24 June, LaBeouf was hospitalized after being injured on set during filming in Williston, North Dakota. Filming wrapped on 2 July 2015. The film was shot over 56 days, in several states.


In January 2016, A24 acquired distribution rights to the film. In May 2016, Focus Features acquired international distribution rights to the film. The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2016, where it was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or.

Critical reception

American Honey received mixed reviews from film critics. It holds a 47% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10.

Guy Lodge of Variety gave the film a positive review writing : "Even viewers who find this traveling circus of cheap thrills and cheaper booze wearying would be hard pressed to deny the iridescent vitality with which it has been put on screen. Every technical contribution here, from Joe Bini"?s wild, whirligig editing to the relentlessly switching, swarming soundtrack "? covering every contemporary pop base from glassily futuristic hip-hop to the warm cornbread country of Lady Antebellum"?s title-inspiring ballad, beautifully deployed here as an unabashedly sentimental singalong "? serves Arnold"?s vision with blazing commitment to the cause. Not for nothing are the closing credits uniquely presented as an alphabetical list of names, democratically merging actors and gaffers alike: If ever a film seemed like an amorphous team effort, it"?s this one." David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed review writing : "The film evinces a kinship with the disaffected youth portraits of Gus Van Sant, like Elephant and Paranoid Park, and the darker brand of generational nihilism purveyed by Harmony Korine; its raw sexual content, wild energy and moments of reckless crime specifically recall Spring Breakers. The latter title's U.S. distributor, A24, also has domestic on American Honey, which will require creative marketing to overcome the challenges of its non-story and overextended 162-minute running time."

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