'Honey Boy' Focuses On Shia LaBeouf's Troubled Life

If you think child stars have it all, this movie may have you thinking twice

Terri Lee-Sylvester
February 21, 2020 - 2:32 pm
Honey Boy is based on the life of Actor Shia LaBeouf

DETROIT (WWJ) - Now streaming on Amazon Prime: the feature film "Honey Boy" based on the life of a popular Hollywood star. 

From the outside, the lives of child stars can look pretty glamorous.  Especially when it seems they have it all: money, fame and all the trappings that often go along with it, such as adoring fans, expensive and fancy toys, worldwide travel; the list goes on and on.  But, as is often the case, things are not always what they seem.  And that couldn't be more true in the case of Shia LaBeouf.

LaBeouf's life -- at least a version of it -- was laid out for all the world to see in the 2019 film 'Honey Boy' which is based on his own experiences; starting with his stormy childhood being raised by his dad, to his climb to stardom.

LaBeouf has been hailed for not only writing the film's screenplay, but also for having the courage to play the role of his father, a convicted felon and former rodeo clown.  

LaBeouf's father, James Lort in the movie, but whose real name is Jeffrey LaBeouf, is a complicated and difficult man.  He's also not very supportive of his son, whom he often bullies and talks to like he's a grown man, even though his son was only 12 at the time.

Actor Noah Jupe plays Shia LaBeouf at the age of 12, when he was an up-and-coming rising child star.  The 22-year-old LaBeouf, named Otis Lort in the film, was played by actor Lucas Hedges.

This movie struck me as a lesson in how parents should NOT treat their children.  Not only was James Lort just one mean dude, I didn't see one shred of paternal instinct in him.  In addition to just being mean to Otis -- who was the only paying the bills -- he also shared his numerous vices with Otis.  Considering everything he's gone through, it's a tribute to Shia that he managed to carve out a successful career in Hollywood despite it all.

While I'm not a big fan of this movie -- mainly because just about every scene was super dark and sometimes hard to see -- I also wish it didn't continually switch between the young Otis and the adult Otis.  And when the movie was over, it was just over, with no defined ending.

Still, for anyone who's a Shia LaBeouf fan, it's worth getting a peek into this troubled soul.  Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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