starring Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, FKA twigs
written by Shia LaBeouf
directed by Alma Har'el
***½/**** Image A- Sound A Extras B+
starring Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe
written and directed by Robert Eggers
by Walter Chaw There is a suggestion in Alma Har'el's haunted, raw Honey Boy that the only knowledge forbidden in the United States is that of the self. The picture aligns in that way with Robert Eggers's similarly haunted The Lighthouse; both films deal in a sense with the sins of the fathers becoming the secret trauma of the sons. They diverge, though, not in the process of peeling away layers and layers of sedimentary fragments the everymen of these dramas have shored against their ruins, but in what they discover at the end of their excavations. To my depressed hope, the final image of The Lighthouse, which promises this cycle of suffering is evergreen, ever-returning, and inevitable, sounds something like the truth. At the other pole is Honey Boy, which, in the course of one of its fantasy sequences, offers, of all things, reconciliation. It says that there's hope at the end of all the suffering, that the map actually leads to buried treasure and not just the skeletons of the things left to guard it (their ranks are full but they're always recruiting). I'm not sure I'm compelled by the case it's trying to make, particularly as this story has more to tell, but there's a power to its piquant grace and love and acceptance.