Ben’s review published on Letterboxd:
Enhanced by a beautiful, dream-like color palette and wonderful performance from Willem Dafoe. Sean Baker was able to capture a pseudo-documentary style with ease while somehow having a whimsical atmosphere at the same time. The acting, apart from Dafoe, was a bit weak from some of the first time actors but managed to work due to the authenticity of the story’s setting. The irony of the setting juxtaposed to the subject matter drove home how much the real world can suck sometimes. The child actors served their parts but I couldn’t help but be annoyed by most of their actions and screen time. I realize their behavior is a result of their environment but I was more interested in the mother and the manager’s story. Overall, I enjoyed the character driven plot but felt it lacked the emotional punch I was hoping for.