Joseph’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow. Sean Baker is the slice of life master. This felt way too real.
I started crying when Moonee asked if she could go say goodbye to Scooty, and I didn’t let out of it until well after the credits closed on the digitally-captured Magic Kingdom. What a powerful film.
I loved how the children made the absolute most out of the situation they were in—just living life and having fun, eating ice cream and starting fires. They were so feral and free—free in a way my children never will be. Similarly, I liked how upbeat, positive and most off all, how patient Bobby was even though his job was very difficult and most of the time shitty. He really assumed the fatherly role, even though he wasn’t asked to, being a very large part of the village it takes to raise a child.
How great was Willem Dafoe? I thought it really great having him act alongside first-time actors, geese(🤣) and amazing child actors (standout Brooklynn Prince) instead of, you know, folks like James Franco. Like in Cuarón’s Roma and the only other Baker film I have seen, Tangerine, Baker’s use of inexperienced actors really contributed to the authentic feel and the realism here.
I somehow watched two films in a row where a main character was forced to resort to prostitution in order to simply just live, which was so very tragic. This film is painful.