The Florida Project

The Florida Project is an Oscar-nominated drama film, starring Willem Dafoe. The plot centres around the lives of Moonee, (Brooklyn Price) and other residents of the Magic Castle. Moonee is incredibly sweet, charming and thoroughly likeable throughout; being the emotional soul of the film. Seeing the film through her eyes makes for an excellent contrast to the adult characters, but more specifically Willem Dafoe’s Bobbie. Dafoe’s performance is outstanding because you can see a great sadness in his character: a sadness perhaps reflective of dreams he’s let go along the way. The film examines the childish innocents of Moonee, showing that she is completely oblivious to the heartbreaking world in which the adult characters reside. Perhaps the most standout performance is newcomer Bria Vinaite as Hailey Moonee’s mum. In many ways she is a truly tragic character; forced by bad choices to do unpleasant things to survive. Vinaite sells this desperation throughout making you sympathetic to her character; greatly complementing the emotional climax of the third act. The direction by Sean Baker is very strong; with each moment being used to develop the characters making them feel very real. The cinematography is beautiful: with some stunning wide-angle shots that capture the abandoned by time feeling of the Magic Castle. My only issue with the film is that there are some plot lines that feel needless. The final thing I’ll say is that the ending of this film is one of the most affecting, heart-breaking endings I’ve seen in a long time. This film is probably one you won’t watch again, but one that will stay with you for a long time. The best thing that the Florida Project does is that it starts a conversation about parenting, hell about life; leaving you after the credits roll with a broken heart and a lot on your mind. A must see.
Reviewed by Luke

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