'Honey Boy': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know about Shia LaBeouf's semi-autobiographical film
Based on a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf about the actor's childhood and his relationship with his father, 'Honey Boy' will release November 8
Shia LaBeouf began writing the script for 'Honey Boy' as a healing exercise during his rehab stint, according to his interview at the film's Sundance world premiere in January with The Hollywood Reporter. The semi-autobiographical biopic drew on the actor's childhood and his relationship with his abusive father, Jeffrey LaBeouf.
"It is strange to fetishize your pain and make a product out of it and feel guilty about that," he said, speaking at the film's launch about how making a film based on his script affected his rehab. LaBeouf wrote the script as a part of his rehabilitation program.
The film, directed by Alma Har'El (Bombay Beach), explores "a young actor's stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health." After it attracted critical acclaim at the festival, Amazon Studios acquired the distribution rights for the film for a cool $5 million.
It will be released in theaters on November 8.
The film follows the fictionalized version of LaBeouf, Otis Lort, as he deals with an abusive father, James Lort, who he has employed as a chaperone and the pressures of fame. James, a former rodeo clown and felon, shifts between pushing his son to be his best and dragging him down.
Otis copes by becoming an addict. The film shifts between time periods featuring Otis as a young man in 2005 as a bonafide star with his father living off his talent before it goes back in time to 1995 when Otis is a boy forced to start acting to earn money for his family before coming full circle to Otis in rehab after an arrest. The film is billed as an exploration of "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".
Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) plays Otis as a child. Lukas Hedges (Lady Bird, Moonrise Kingdom) plays the Otis Lort as a young man. In an interesting casting decision, LaBeouf plays the character James Lort, based on his father. Natasha Lyonne plays Otis' mother while FKA Twigs, in her on-screen debut, plays a childhood friend and neighbor.
The screenplay is by actor Shia LaBeouf who is known for his roles in the 'Transformer' movies and in 'Indiana Jones.' The film was directed by music video and film director, Alma Har'el, best known for her documentary 'Bombay Beach', which won the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011.
The trailer begins in 2005 with Otis, a young adult, being yanked backward during a stunt for an action film. Several scenes follow of him behaving badly before he is arrested after he crashes his car while driving drunk. He yells at the policeman, saying “You think you’re hot? Coz you don’t know how good I am at what I do.”
The trailer cuts to a young version of Otis, played by Noah Jupe, getting hit in the face in a pie before the scene shifts to a motivational speech from his abusive father and manager, James Lort. Played by LaBeouf, James says, "I'm your cheerleader, honey boy." After which shots of Otis as a young child on different sets follow along with his scenes with his father and other characters.
An adolescent Otis' voice intones: "My dad is not the reason I drink. He is the reason I work." The trailer ends with James asking a young Otis, "How do you think I feel to have my son paying me? How do you think that feels?” Otis replies, "You wouldn’t be here if I didn’t pay you.”
Where to watch:
At a theater near you once it releases.
If you liked this, you'll love:
'Dogtooth', 'The Squid and the Whale', 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape', 'This Boy's Life', 'Savage Grace', and 'Running with Scissors'.