The Florida Project Will Definitely Blow Your Soks Off
Updated: Apr 20, 2018
Lucky me works in a stunning art house film theatre called Lumière Cinema Restaurant Café. Every year I get the chance to see the most incredible films on the silver screen at IFFR International Film Festival Rotterdam. I am sure The Florida Project will be one of the best films you will see this year. <3
The beat of Kool and the Gang’s classic 'Celebration' kicked in. I saw the vivid color palette around the budget motel scenery outside of Disney World. Than I immediately knew it. I was going to witness something I had never seen before.
Remember how, back in the days, the world was one big playground during summer? You got up, had breakfast and, than ran to your friends for the highlight of the day. We played games like hide and seek or build a secret hut outside. Every child is kind of equal at the age of six years old. You knew some children's parents had more money but that didn't really count in being more popular or anything. Of course you could feel some kids had a hard time at home, but as a kid we tried to forget about that and instead had fun together. And lord, how great would it be to go back to those days just once. Well, The Florida Project definitely brought me back there. That was the first reason why I didn't want to film to end.
In The Florida Project director Sean Baker chooses to show the perspective of the six-year-old Moonee played by the stunning, super funny Brooklynn Kimberly Prince. She lives in a Disney World budget motel called the Magic Castle with her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) who struggles to pay the rent and raise her kid. Moonee has the same 'bitch please!' attitude as her mom, she is super smart and funny but also way too rude for a six year old kid. The little troublemaker also badly influences her buddy Scooty (Christopher Rivera) and her new friend called Jancey (Valeria Cotto). All these kids act incredible and show how flexible and positive kids are despite living in poverty. Although there are boundaries to that of course.
And then there is the super sweet motel manager Bobby, a good-guy played by the amazing Willem Dafoe. He's a father figure to both Halley and Moonee and tries to help as much as he can. The Magic Castle is part of the unlicensed grey economy trading off tourists. It's hard to see rich families having fun in Disney World in contrast to the hard knock life Halley and Moonee have while living there.
The Florida Project tells, and here I quote the director "an underrepresented story about an underrepresented subculture". That made my heart jump several times while watching it. Sean Baker luckily breaks with the rules of cinema, the plot is not that present nor important. He managed to make you feel as if you are really spending time with the characters. I could go on for hours about this film, but I don't want to give away any spoilers. So why should you see it?
This film is so real, so vivid, it's almost hard to believe I am watching a fiction film. It's about the struggle of life on the margins, love, friendship and being a kid.
Choose the middle seat in the middle row at the cinema and let's enjoy the lovely trailer for now. You can already see the stunning performances, bright colors and unique point-of-view. Trust me, The Florida Project will be a celebration. <3, Anna