Jules ✨’s review published on Letterboxd:
1000th logged film since I joined Letterboxd™ and I just would love to look back and see how everything has changed.
I chose a movie that I thought would be special, this movie is one of the favorites of Grayson, Lindsay and Theo, 3 of my closest friends, the first 3 people that talked to me and made me feel at home in here —even though they are on the other side of the world—. I want to dedicate this review to you guys.
You're a wild animal.
Talking about The Florida Project I wasn't sure of what it was about. I had only seen Sean Baker's Starlet and Theo showed me the trailer of this one, but it looked majestic.
This is a film that just follows these people, these unacknowledged ways of living. It has a very natural feeling, it feels like spending a summer with these characters, with Halley, Moonee and the other kids.
Somehow, even though the movie doesn't have fantastic elements and it's just a portrait of real life, it has something that makes it feel magical.
All the story happens in a motel, The Magic Castle, where people live cause they have no income to afford a real house. But this big purple building has something mesmerizing. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the poor neighborhoods of Latin America. Monnee, Scooty, Jancey, Halley and Bobby are fictional, yes. But they are inspired in the thousands of real Monnees, Halleys out there.
I think the story is sad, but it's not a sad story. That doesn't make any sense, I know. But it's the way that it's focused on the kids and the innocence they see the world. It has that nostalgic joy of childhood, the happiness in simple things like an ice cream, going to the supermarket or the rain. I think Sean Baker excells with the storytelling, cause we see good things in the surface, and then we start to find out hidden secrets, like the stuff about Halley we find out later in the film.
Even though these kids live minutes away from Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth, they'll never taste that experience, because their finnancial status doesn't allow them that, but that doesn't make them sad, cause they don't know other perspectives of the wold apart from the one they grew up on. It's like for them The Magic Castle is their happy place, rejoicing and looking at everything with hope and longing. I loved that focus, how childhood can bloom despite the poverty and the unstable economical conditions.