American Honey

American Honey ★★★★

I love the minibus scene in this film, when they're all listening to American Honey together...

Star doesn't sing along with everyone else. She looks around at them and listens to the words...

She grew up on the side of the road
Where the church bells ring and strong love grows
She grew up good, she grew up slow

Couldn't wait to get going
But wasn't quite ready to leave
So innocent, pure and sweet
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
I just want to go back in time

Star listens to the words, and they're so clearly about her. And she looks back at the new girl, who isn't singing either. The new girl's expression is wistful just like Star's but more hopeful - this is a new adventure for her. She thinks this song is about her. Star finds that funny. But it is.

Gone for so long now
Got to get back to her somehow

QT sings those words to Star, and they look at each other, smiling. Because it's really about both - and all - of them, and QT knows that most of all.

It's even about Krystal: "you're a real American honey, just like me". She's tough and never shows herself, but we cut once to her eyes in the rearview mirror, staring dead ahead, mind locked on the road and the music.

So many moments that are wistful and beautiful. Star's is a life always moving forward, but there are times when she's forced to look back on what she can no longer return to. She does that with the song. Another time, she tries to call her brother and sister, and remembers where she left them. She remembers them too when she visits the family near the end, and gives those kids food, because she recognises their life from her own. No matter where she goes, she always ends up back home.

Andrea Arnold doesn't need your fucking Palme. She's got one tattooed on her Star.

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