This movie was a real surprise. I really liked it. I actually think it deserved a Best Picture nomination. It's very clever filmmaking: artistic, entertaining, insightful. It's sort of a view of poverty through the eyes of children.
Dafoe even comes across as sort of a real-life superhero (with one scene in particular)...
At least he got a Best Supporting Actor nom for it.
I'm a big fan of Sean Baker's other work (Tangerine, The Prince of Broadway, and Starlet), so had high hopes for The Florida Project.
And, I was not disappointed. Excellent film, that truly deserves all of the accolades/attention it's recently received. This film may as well have been a documentary, since the acting was so naturalistic & real. Note there are SPOILERS below - I'm not sure how to use spoiler tags on this forum.
Opening the film with the song "Celebration" was intentionally ironic, since the film was so grim. However, it really fit the scene it was played over - i.e., kids being kids.
Setting the film in Florida was a good move. I don't live there - but - like a lot of others (I'm sure), when I think about that state my first thoughts are that tourists go there to vacation & older people go there to retire. So, showcasing the extreme poverty on the fringes of Disneyworld (and the other local businesses that catered to tourists in the area) was quite eye-opening, since this is not the picture that most people have of Florida.
I didn't see this film as having one particular star, but the stand-outs were definitely the little actress who played Mooney & Willem Dafoe.
Though Dafoe was the only big-name Hollywood actor in the film, he definitely disappeared into his role as Bobby (the apartment manager) to a great extent. He had a thankless job, and had to be maintenance person, de-facto social worker, etc.
My favorite sequence in the movie was when Bobby noticed that creepy old guy talking to the kids, and then distracted him by pretending to be nice to him by buying him a drink....and then surprising the guy by knocking the drink out of his hand and kicking the scum-bag off the property - classic!
Haley was a truly despicable person & it was difficult to feel sorry for her. She should never have had children in the first place. And, the fact that Haley ended up beating the crap out of her former friend (who had previously helped her & her kids by giving them free food) was heinous & sickening.
That all being said, I see a lot of these angry homeless/poor people out there, who end up taking out their aggression/frustration on others because they're powerless to help themselves. Sad and pathetic - unfortunately, these people will always be around.
That also being said, I also see a lot of other hard-working poor people who have class & character - despite having very little money.
I did feel sorry for Mooney & the other children in the film. They are the real victims of their parents' actions/inactions.
Last edited by Rick Deckard on Mar 13th, 2018 at 08:32 PM
Yeah I thought this movie was great, too. It was a lot better than some of the best picture nominees, that's for sure. Dafoe definitely did blend perfectly into his role. I found the entire film absolutely mesmerizing, such a unique perspective. And yeah, the pedophile scene was absolutely classic!