Andrea Arnold’s rousing Cannes drama American Honey is a beautifully-wrought road movie with a refreshingly raw performance from Shia LaBeouf at the center, and EW has an exclusive first look a clip from the film that highlights the 30-year-old’s swag-filled acting chops.
American Honey revolves around a group of young drifters, fronted by Krystal (Riley Keough), who hires a revolving door of teenage runaways to sell magazine subscriptions to wealthy customers in ritzy neighborhoods around the country.
In the slightly NSFW clip above, Jake (LaBeouf), one of the group’s top sellers, coaches newcomer Star (Sasha Lane) about the art of making a lasting impression as an entrepreneur.
“Once you get this one f—ing step down, you’re the chief of the tribe. And I’m gonna teach you that one step today,” he says. “Basically, as soon as they open that door and look at you, that’s the critical moment… in that second you gotta work them, you gotta read them, you gotta be able to scan them and figure them out, figure out what kind of person that person wants in their life, and then you gotta be that person.”
Star, who develops intense romantic feelings for Jake shortly after meeting him, listens intently.
“This person doesn’t give a f— about magazines, right?” he asks her. “They want something from me. So, if I’m a G, I’m going to figure out what that something is and I’m going to work that. That’s a power agent.”
In May, Arnold, who previously won an Oscar for directing the short film Wasp in 2005, won the Cannes Jury Prize for her work on the film, which has thus far received glowing reviews from movie critics. American Honey is the third of Arnold’s features to win the festival’s Jury Prize, as her Red Road and Fish Tank took the honor in 2006 and 2009, respectively.
American Honey is now playing in select theaters. It opens nationwide on Friday, Oct. 14.