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The Florida Project (2017)

Director:
Sean Baker
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Florida Project
RUNNING TIME
111 minutes
Producer:
Sean Baker
Chris Bergoch
Kevin Chinoy
Andrew Duncan
Alex Saks
Francesca Silvestri
Shih-Ching Tsou
Screenwriters:
Sean Baker
Chris Bergoch


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Moonee, Halley's daughter Brooklynn Prince
Halley, Moonee's mother Bria Vinaite
Bobby Hicks Willem Dafoe
Jancey Valeria Cotto
Ashley Mela Murder
Scooty Christopher Rivera
Stacy Sandy Kane
Dicky Aiden Malik
Jack Hicks Caleb Landry Jones
Tourist John Macon Blair

 

Review

In Sean Baker's bleak, but warm social realism The Florida Project, Willem Dafoe plays a good-natured motel manager who in fatherly fashion looks after the numerous more or less struggling residents of a low-cost motel not far from Disney World in Florida. They live mostly from hand-to-mouth, taking odd jobs and trying to earn enough to pay the rent and provide for their children, who in turn form a close bond as they roam around the premises and enjoy their summer holidays. Running after them is Baker with his camera, and he must have given these young kids plenty of leeway to play and socialize, because the authenticity he is able to capture is remarkable and perhaps the film's best asset. After a first half which feels a little bit like a low-key, white-trash version of Grand Hotel, Baker's focus of attention settles on the abrasive, foul-mouthed petty criminal Hallee and her enterprising, impertinent 6-year-old daughter Moonee. In the latter role, young Brooklynn Prince is a real find, and Baker gets an amazing performance out of her, without it ever feeling forced, and very rarely contrived. Through his study of Halley and Moonee, Baker not only creates glimpses of brilliant, emotionally turbulent drama, but also raises all kinds of questions about social structures, economic inequality and welfare systems. Baker makes no conclusions, however, instead leaving us to take our pick make our own evaluations. That final scene, with its complete shift in tone and tempo, is reminiscent of the ending of Richard Donner's Radio Flyer, another film with fantastic performances by talented child-performers.

Copyright 18.02.2018 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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