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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Shia LaBeouf plays his dad in the Honey Boy trailer

Illustration for article titled Shia LaBeouf plays his dad in the Honey Boy trailer
Screenshot: Honey Boy (YouTube)

“As a glorified form of drama therapy, Honey Boy is fascinating,” we wrote of Shia LaBeouf’s upcoming film, a “barely disguised autobiography” that follows the travails of a young actor named Otis Lort (Noah Jupe) and his leech of a showbiz dad (LaBeouf) in Hollywood. Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges co-stars as a teenage version of Otis, and the trailer opens with him on the set of what’s clearly a Transformers-like tentpole. Experimental R&B artist FKA Twigs also appears in what’s her feature film debut.


Here’s a synopsis:

From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach, LoveTrue) brings to life a young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health. Fictionalizing his ascent to stardom, and subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har’el casts Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) and Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased, Manchester by the Sea) as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Dancer-singer FKA twigs makes her feature-film debut, playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home. Har’el’s feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring 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.

Watch the trailer above ahead of its November 8 premiere.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.