“In all situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere.
We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection.” — Step 10, pg 91.
— Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions by Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
As a friend of mine once drilled into my head, when a situation is going south, check yourself first. Watch your language. Watch your tone. Practice self-restraint. If you are wrong, admit it promptly. If you are right, then forgive promptly. Anger and resentment are the fastest pathways to addiction.
In 2017, actor Shia LaBeouf was arrested in Georgia for public drunkenness. He pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and guilty to obstruction. He was given two choices: seven years in jail or court-ordered anger management counseling and drug rehabilitation.
He chose counseling and rehab.
LaBeouf wrote his first screenplay, “Honey Boy,” while in rehab. The movie is based on his life as a child actor (Disney Channel’s Even Stevens) and his turbulent relationship with his father. Although we are watching father and son, “James and Otis Lort,” on screen, this is clearly the story of “Jeffery and Shia LaBeouf” and how Shia exorcises his demons and breaks the chains of three generations of addiction.
“Honey Boy” moves between two time periods. Adult Otis has
been arrested and is now in rehab. When his therapist tells Otis he has all the
symptoms of PTSD, he says, “How is that possible?”
Cut to 12-year-old Otis who is acting on a sitcom by day. By
night, he is living in a crappy motel with his father who is a multiple offense
felon and an abusive (sober) alcoholic and a (not sober) drug addict. He is
also paying his father a salary.
The complicated dynamics between father and son, father and mother, father and everyone else, is the definition of dysfunctional. Otis is already smoking and drinking as a pre-teen. His father also introduces him to marijuana which he is illegally growing. It’s easy to see how grown-up Otis lands in jail and rehab.
Sounds sad, right? It is. This movie breaks your heart. It’s
an intense in-your-face recovery film. It’s like being in someone’s therapy
It’s also awesome on two levels. All the performances are fantastic.
Noah Jupe plays young Otis. Lucas Hedges plays grown up Otis. Both actors are
amazing. All the actors bring their A-game to this movie.
Playing his own father, it’s Shia LaBeouf who delivers the
knockout performance of “Honey Boy.” He deserves an Oscar nomination. And that’s
the second level of awesomeness. Rehab and counseling finally worked for him,
in his real life. You are cheering for this guy to move through the rest of his
life sober, healed, and whole. You are rooting for Shia’s happy ending.
I really liked this movie. Go see it.
9.5 out of 10 Mocha Angels.
Up next on Holistic Saturdays: A Short Buddha Story to Calm Your Mind. Saturday, November 23.