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The Florida Project

  • 2018
  • R
  • 115min
  • 96%
  • 7.6 / 10

The movie explores the life of a young girl named Monique, referred to as Moonee, who lives with her mother in a slummy Florida motel in the shadow of Disney World. Her mother is a young woman herself, struggling to make ends meet, by way of stealing, selling drugs and trinkets to tourists, and even selling herself to men who pass through the motel. As this is going on, Bobby, the manager of the motel, played by Willem Dafoe, acts as the sole authority figure in the otherwise rundown and lawless motel setting. The movie is a very harsh and dedicated look at the world of low-income impoverished Americans living in places like motels and trailer parks. Moonee's childish innocence is used as an effective contrast against the otherwise gritty and depressing realities of poverty.

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As with Sean Baker's previous film, Tangerine, The Florida Project takes a fairly small budget and works wonders with it to achieve a very grounded and focused film. Tangerine, made on a shoestring budget of just $100,000 dollars, became widely famous for its shooting on just iPhone cameras. The Florida Project uses 35mm film, and a significantly larger budget, but follows in Tangerine's footsteps in putting the focus on the characters and authenticity of the subject matter, rather than flashy production values. For this reason, both films have greatly resonated with audiences, and have gone on to be nominated for numerous awards, for cinematography and production, to the fantastic performances by the actors involved, many of whom are relative unknowns or even first-time actors, again lending to the raw and authentic nature of the films.

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about the movie

The Florida Project is a 2017 American drama, written and directed by Sean Baker, known previously for his movie Tangerine, which has similar aesthetic and tonal qualities. The movie stars Willem Dafoe and up-and-coming child actress Brooklyn Prince in the focal role. It was produced on a relatively small budget of $2 million and made nearly $12 million in its limited theatrical run.