Wildly unlikely plotting put across with a good deal of style - opening shot: shadows through frosted glass, then door opens, heroine comes out and gets followed in fluid reverse tracking-shot down a long corridor - but the film slackens, turns banal with the introduction of an old curmudgeon for Honey to bond with, and the style itself ends up seeming out of place (the death of a young man - around the 70-minute mark feels almost tasteless, because the rest of the film can't support it).
Valeria Golino's feature debut is an exercise in the unbearable heaviness of being. Driven by a no-nonsense ethos, it avoids sentimentality the same way its main character avoids sentiment. The gorgeous music (by Bach, Thom Yorke, Caribou, Shearwater, among others) isn't a plea for our tears, but a nuanced and obscure hint at the characters' psychology—an invitation into their world as removed witness, not emotionally involved alibi.
With striking compositions and cuts that reveal a deep appreciation of cinema's possibilities, Valeria Golino's Honey could be about anything at all and still demand and hold your attention; that the narrative is as moving as the film is aesthetically precise is an added delight... Golino thinks in images, not reductive psychology, and the film is at its sublime best when she applies formalist skill to depict otherwise unremarkable scenes... with deep pathos.