With The Florida Project, Tangerine director Sean Baker flexes his ability to capture innocence and vulnerability within a seemingly tattered community. However, with his latest film, he improves his filmmaking in every way.
Taking place within a sector of hotels that have been developed into low-income housing, Baker zeroes in on Moonee (newcomer Brooklynn Prince) and her single mother Halley (Bria Vinaite). Halley can be found socializing with fellow young parents and partiers, while Moonee creates mischief ranging from lighthearted teasing to property damage that usually gets her in trouble with the manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe, who has been nominated for an Oscar for this warm role).
The Florida Project is a slice of life that neither embellishes or exploits. The routines we observe throughout Sean Baker’s film are clear representations of lifestyles that, while financially strapping, allow these tenants to find their own definition of happiness. Some may still be looking for their purpose, but the complex is encouraging under the supervision of Bobby; refreshing their spirits on a daily basis.
Movie goers also receive a collection of genuine perspectives that include carefree and colourful eyes from Moonee, love-hate relationships that form between neighbours, and Halley’s desire to keep her daughter in her best interest. The last example is a complicated effort that The Florida Project does an impeccable job of balancing considering Halley’s irresponsible matters that occur out of desperation and pure love.
The Florida Project, heartbreaking and hilarious, is one of 2017’s best films and a modern American masterpiece.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie