Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Florida Project

Movie Name: The Florida Project
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Sean Baker
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Aiden Malik, Valeria Cotto, Mela Murder, Christopher Rivera, Josie Olivo, Krystal Nicole Watts
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer

After his breakthrough with "Tangerine", director Sean Baker is back with "The Florida Project", which was featured on many lists of the best of 2017. The film follows the story of young Moonee, who's a six year old, living with her mom in a Motel, close to Walt Disney World in Florida. Moonee, goes on her explorations with her friends, sometimes getting into some mischief, but her adventures are always rather innocent, unlike her mother, who resorts to stealing, prostitution and sometimes violence, in order to make ends meet. The children who live in that motel are somewhat sheltered in all this by the decent and humane motel manager, Bobby, who is aware of the difficulty of all these people's lives, and tries to help as much as he can.
Much like "Tangerine", "The Florida Project" is a slice of the life of people who live with very little. It's a look anchored in the children's perspective, and therefore filled with imagination and heart, but it's nonetheless a glimpse into the lives of people who live out of schemes and who drag their children through some rather sordid situations, in order to make ends meet and keep on living. It's not by any means miserable or squalid, but it's definitely a no frills approach to hard lives, and how children cope with those difficulties. It's a film that is compelling, and manages to keep the narrative flowing due to the naturalistic performance from Brooklynn Prince and the always fantastic Willem Dafoe, who composes a character without any of stylistic tones that so many of his other performances usually have. It's an interesting film from a very interesting director.