April 22 29, 2020
April 2229, 2020


independent film festival boston

IFFBoston Fall Focus 2019

Brattle Theatre

$13 General Admission
$11 IFFBoston & Brattle members, students, and seniors*

*Limited to one ticket per screening per membership card or Student ID. Tickets bought online must be verified with your valid membership card/ID at time of pick up at the Brattle Box Office. Member discount cannot be combined with other offers.

IFFBoston members get priority seating for all Fall Focus screenings.

A heart-piercing portrait of childhood trauma and adult self-renewal, HONEY BOY marks the auspicious screenwriting debut of Shia LaBeouf. Sensitively directed by Alma Har’el (BOMBAY BEACH), who makes her fiction feature debut, the film, while not explicitly autobiographical, mirrors the life of its author in a myriad of ways, as it follows an actor’s struggle to come to terms with his experiences growing up with an abusive father. In a clever casting move, LeBeouf himself plays that father, with both menace and empathy.

Honey Boy opens with twenty-something Otis (Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges, also at the Fall Focus in WAVES) suffering a car crash while shooting a blockbuster spectacle. During recovery, a counsellor (Laura San Giacomo) suggests Otis may be experiencing PTSD. Then we flash back to a 12-year-old Otis (A QUIET PLACE’s Noah Jupe), living in a seedy motel with his father, James (LaBeouf), a war veteran, ex–rodeo clown, and recovering alcoholic currently working as a roadside trash collector. Envious of Otis’ acting success and resentful that his son has become the family breadwinner, James subjects Otis to insults, cruelty, and violence.

But James can also be tender. His fierce loyalty to his “honey boy” results in a codependency that will follow Otis for years.

Working with cinematographer Natasha Braier (GLORIA BELL) and editors Dominic LaPerriere and Monica Salazar, Har’el moves between past and present, upheaval and self-realization, while LaBeouf’s daring as both actor and writer imbue this story with invention, fearlessness, and grace.

—Toronto International Film Festival guide

95 min.

Directed by:
Alma Har’el

Shia LaBeouf
Lucas Hedges
Noah Jupe
FKA twigs

Saturday, November 29:45Brattle Theatre40 Brattle Street
Harvard Square

2019 Presenting Sponsors

With additional thanks and gratitude to all of our sponsors for this year's festival.

see all sponsors