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The Florida Project (2017) Review

Find Your Kingdom

Release Date: September 8th, 2017

Genre: Drama


Back-to-Back A24 reviews? this may become more of a thing as I get my hands on more of their movies.

This was another film I missed in theatres, but I was really encapsulated by the trailer. I completely thought this was going to be a different movie than what it actually was. I thought this movie would be a lot happier than what is was, turns out it wasn’t but that was exactly what I needed.

The Florida Project is a drama film set over one summer, the film is about a mischievous girl and her group of friends who get themselves into sticky situations as kids do. It also shows the bond that this young girl has with her extremely rebellious and shit-disturbing mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.

The Florida Project is directed by Sean Baker. This is the only film I have seen by him, and I think this was a good place to start. He did a great job directing and the techniques that he utilized and the performances he got out of his actors, was brilliant. Its always interesting to me to see really good performances out of near first time actors, The children actors in this movie were excellent, especially Moonee, who plays the rebellious mothers daughter. I think it starts with a good director to get that great of a performance out of an actor, and then a good script.

The Florida Project is written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch. The only thing I’ve seen by both of these writers is an old TV show from back in the day called Greg The Bunny {TV Series} (2002). I thought this movie was well written, there was genuine moments of funny dialogue but at the drop of a hat there was some really lump in your throat scenes. You loved the children but hated the adults, and then there were scenes where an adult would act one way and the child would act like them in the next scene so you started turning on the kids, there was a great balance between the two.

The film stars Brooklyn Prince as Moonee, Bria Vinaite as Halley and Willem Dafoe as Bobby.

I am not familiar with Brooklyn Prince’s other movie, but I thought she was excellent in this movie. She played off her mother in the movie so well, and was your typical kid. Imitating and being free.

Halley Vinaite is not someone I’m familiar with as this was her first film. She too was excellent, I hated her character in some places, but she was written that way, I loved her in other places in the movie. I don’t think I fully came around to her character though, there was just something about her in general that I didn’t like… But maybe that was the intention.

Willem Dafoe however is someone I’m familiar with and I really enjoy his acting. His filmography consists of To Live And Die In L.A. (1985), Platoon (1986), Born On the Fourth Of July (1989), Cry-Baby (1990), The Boondock Saints (1999), American Psycho (2000), Spider-Man (2002), Finding Nemo (2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Aviator (2004), Inside Man (2006), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Daybreakers (2009), Odd Thomas (2013), Out Of The Furnace (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), John Wick (2014), and Finding Dory (2016). Willem Dafoe has to be one of the most versatile actors in my opinion, he can be a down right, down to earth sweetheart with a heart of gold like he is in The Florida Project. Or he can be this extremely villainous character. He has very striking characteristics that allow him to be a chameleon of sorts, never know where or who he will pop up as. He definitely deserved his nomination for best supporting actor from the Academy, but unfortunately I don’t think he will see Oscar gold this year, but he will definitely win one eventually. (I didn’t realize that he’s been nominated 3 times already).

I thought all the acting in this movie was extremely well done which I find is a hit and miss when it comes to first time actors and very young actors. I think they were lead by a talented director though.

I thought this movie dragged in a few places, perhaps I wasn’t in the mood completely but I didn’t want to turn it off.

I loved the cinematography and the unique colour palette of the film.

Definitely give this one a shot, its different than I expected, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I give The Florida Project a 4/5.

Im glad I blind bought this movie on blu-ray, the blu-ray looks really nice.

Until next time!


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