Review: The Florida Project

What daycare?

It's summer in Florida, and six year old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) runs around the shady motel that she and her mother, Halley (Bria Vinaite) currently reside. Halley loves her, but she doesn't have a steady job nor does she put much of an effort in looking after her. Moonee spends her days playing with her friends, destroying things and occasionally bothering the hotel manager Bobby (Willem DaFoe)

It's almost impossible to watch this movie and not get judgy if you're a parent. My child is also six, and the thought of letting him run around the way Moonee and her friends do with zero supervision is baffling to me. Watching Halley not putting in a huge effort to have a steady job is hard to watch too. That aside, seeing everything through Moonee's eyes is a perspective we don't get very often in film. When you first see her, she looks like a precious child. Then she goes off to spit on someone's car window and call the owner a "ratchet bitch." She's definitely a product of her environment and that's what makes her so interesting to watch.

Brooklyn Prince is magnificent is Moonee. Watching her is like watching a home video. She's so natural in this role that there's no sense at all that she's acting. Sometimes with child actors you can tell when they're just saying lines they were reminded of a few minutes prior and that's never the case with her. She has a scene towards the end of this movie that absolutely broke me. Bria Vinaite is also great as her foul mouthed mother. She dials the "trash" factor up to eleven. (a side note, those are the actress' real tattoos and they are gorgeous) And finally there's Willem DaFoe, the manager who's mostly 100% done with everything. You can tell even through his hard exterior that he cares, especially about Moonee and the other kids that are just left to wander. 

The Florida Project does suffer from some pacing issues. About half way through the film I started to wonder if there was going to be a point or climax to all of this. A lot of it is small scenes of Moonee just doing her day to day, but it does eventually have one. 

I'm glad I watched this film during Dell's Girl Week. Hopefully we see a lot of little Brooklyn Prince in the future.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "We gotta come back here again." - Moonee (Brooklynn Prince)




16 comments:

  1. Totally agree that this had pacing issues, but then when it got to the last, like, 10 minutes or so, it totally sucker punched me, and I realized that the leisurely pace of the rest of it was totally on purpose to get exactly that reaction. I agree that both Prince and Vinaite are great (as is Dafoe), but I think awardage for Prince is going a bit far lol. But still. That ending totally wrecked me.

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    1. Oh my God sucker punch is a great way to describe the end. Jesus lol

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  2. I really loved this one. It really just drops you into their world.

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    1. It does! Moonee was an interesting pair of eyes to see the world through.

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  3. How have I never heard of this until now? Thanks for putting it on my radar. Thanks for another great Girl Week post!

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    1. I'd love to hear your take on this one. I hope you see it soon.

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  4. Never heard of this one but it sounds good. I'm adding it to my list immediately.

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    1. I hope it makes its way to your country soon!

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  5. I really want to see this film as I've heard so many great things about it.

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    1. It's worth the hype IMO. I hope you see it

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  6. Definitely liked Brooklynn, though she grated on my nerves in this movie lol. but i found the film so inauthentic for the most part

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    1. Really? I found it really authentic. I felt like they weren't even being filmed at times.

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  7. Couldn't agree more about the pacing...I actually had a handful of people walk out on this movie at the festival I was at. It's a good movie, but not great. I don't see the hype around Dafoe's performance...not really Oscar-nomination worthy to me, you know?

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    1. DaFoe was really good but he didn't leave as big of an impression as Prince did.

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  8. If a kid says words like that near me, I would tell them to smarten up and I have. If they are left to fend on their own, this tells me how little guidance they have from their mom and what their future may bring. I have seen this in my office and know the kids have little hope of going anywhere.

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    1. Thats so sad to think about. Not giving them a chance.

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