The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★★½

I rolled the dice on The Florida Project, I bought it without seeing it first. I can say that I was glad that I bought it because The Florida Project is a very unique film that I will most likely return to every once and a while. It made feel so many things, it’s one of those special films that puts you through the ringer of emotions. Only a handful of films have made me feel that way and The Florida Project is another film to that list of mine. 

This film looks at some of the most important problems in America today. It looks at poverty and how it affects the ones enduring it. It takes an in depth look at the innocence of childhood and what it means to be a kid. Most of this film is about how these kids perceive their childhood and the conflicts they are involved in. To me, most importantly it made me look back and reminisce about my childhood. 

One of the best aspects of The Florida Project is it feels like your watching someone’s life play out. It honestly felt like I was watching a documentary about a family in poverty stricken Florida. That kind of leads me to my only flaw about the movie, the ending. I was so invested in the story and for the ending to just end so abruptly was kind of disappointing because I wanted even more. 

The other outstanding aspects of The Florida Project was the direction of Sean Baker, the cinematography by Alexis Zabe and the more than real performances. I haven’t seen Tangerine by Sean Baker but I really want to see it now because The Florida Project made me realize how special and talented Sean Baker is at his craft. The cinematography by Alexis Zabe is by far some of my favorite in the past couple years. Zabe was able to reveal so much about Florida in very simple shots of stores, people, and nature. 

The performances can be simply described as spectacular. Brooklynn Prince, Christopher Rivera, Aiden Malik, and Valeria Cotto as the kids are delightful here. They bring a certain light to their roles that is very impressive for child actors and actresses. Bria Vinaite in her first role delivers a performance that might be hard for her to top in here career to come. For her first role, she seemed like a veteran actress, she was amazing. Then Willem Dafoe shines in his best performance in years. I’ve always loved him as an actor but here my love grew even more. 

The Florida Project is a very unique and fresh look at childhood innocence while focusing on problems like Poverty stricken families trying to survive and provide rent check to rent check. This film has it all, a great and talented director, spectacular performances across the board, and beautiful looking cinematography. If you have a chance to check it out, do it. You won’t regret it and it might just leave you in tears.

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