The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★½

"I failed as a mother, Moonee!" -Hailey,
"Yeah, mom, you're a disgrace!" -Moonee

If your kid spits on my car I'm going to spit on your kid... yeah, I'm that sort of guy.

The Florida Project details the spirited lives of a few young children who are spending their summer break living in a low income budget motel while the lives of the adults around them are falling into decline. The film is especially effective at mastering happy and sad tones at the same time and the performances are unique and awe-inspiring. Brooklynn Prince does an AMAZING job demonstrating all the ways that poverty and parents in trouble can impact young children.

As a parent one of the things that you have to be especially careful about is not confusing your child's performed maturity with their actual maturity. Moonee is good at acting tough and seems to handle most of her mom's problems with a light heart and a sound mind but The Florida Project does an excellent job demonstrating the underlying sadness and isolation that being raised this way tends to cause. The cinematography is exceptional and the script is well-written.

All that considered I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I wanted a little bit more out of this movie given that it has a rating above 4.0, I don't get it. I think this would be more effective at 90 minutes as there are about 20 minutes of pure repetition that don't seem to add a lot to the narrative structure or the momentum of the film. In addition, while I get what is going on with the ending I think it could be done more effectively to reduce the jarring feeling of the transition.

Absolute recommend to anybody.

P.S. Recommended as part of Film Club's secret cinema.

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