Ash’s review published on Letterboxd:
AMERICAN HONEY... wow, where do I start?
It’s such an intense work of emotion, and its core is an undeniably enigmatic and electric performance from a rebellious and pragmatic Sasha Lane, who fits into the role perfectly.
The sexy, alluring energy between Lane and Labeouf is purely magnetic and simply a sensual drive to the film’s plot. Their scenes together are brimming with chemistry.
The final scene of the film is fittingly cathartic and a soothing note to end the film on. With only five minutes to go, and the film’s end still very much in the air, I was afraid that Arnold would not be able to give the film the ending it deserved or that it would be left hanging. But it leaves the audience with a touching scene.
In a moment of discovery and catharsis, Sasha Lane enters the nearby lake and submerges herself in it (not knowing how to swim). We are left to assume that she drowns as the frame lingers on the water - empty and without life. But then Lane emerges out of the water and starts breathing; it’s a moment of rebirth.
This rebirth is such an important moment of catharsis, especially to end the film on. Feeling lost about herself, all that seems to fade away. She couldn’t swim, yet she submerged herself in the water and emerged back out; it’s a moving moment of true catharsis and it’s her rebirth.
Andrea Arnold is at her best here, with a cohesive direction that crafts an extraordinary, thrill-seeking coming-of-age story about living, exploration, rebellion and love. Wonderful film.