Film Review: The Florida Project

The Florida Project poster

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Taylor Kokas

The Florida Project, named after an early title of “Disney World,” follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) living week-to-week in a bubble gum colored motel called “The Magic Castle,” being raised by her young, rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite). When Moonee isn’t out on the streets with her mother – selling perfume, trespassing or stealing to make rent – she goes on adventures with her motel friends Scooty and Jancey. Making the best out of their summer, the group collects ice cream money from strangers and annoys the motel’s manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe).

Moonee shows us how to make the best of what you have. However, at any moment, the reality that she experiences could be taken away from her if rent isn’t paid or Bobby doesn’t act as her protector. In the end, Moonee’s reality is threatened when child services shows up. In this scene, she runs away to tell her friend Jancey bye, the visual transition from 35mm film to iPhone footage can be extremely frustrating and jarring to the audience. This rough transition however is a visual display, mirroring the experiences of Moonee’s life. Overall the film does a good job of exposing the viewer to this overlooked world in our society and the people that experience it while taking the viewer on a ride that will be, both, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

The Florida Project, was released by A24 Films on October 13th with a limited theatrical run and home video to follow.

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