mariadees’s review published on Letterboxd:
Moonee: You know why this is my favorite tree
Moonee: 'Cause it's tipped over, and it's still growing.
finally got to see this, it's one film from 2017 that i just never got around to watching. i remember hearing about the infamous scene at the end and i've had a still image from this saved on my phone for a while: of the two girls Moonee and Jancey looking out at the rainbow (since my sister has brown hair and i have red), just reminding me of my childhood.
The Florida Project is very different from my childhood in a lot of ways though. Set in Orlando, Florida not very far from Disney World, this film shows what it is like for a lot of families that grow up not being able to afford a real home. If you drive around your closest city, you will most likely see a Hilton, Hyatt, Ritz... all these super nice hotels but just a few miles away, or just down the road, the smaller budget one's that are very cheap have to find a way to keep business afloat and selling rooms for cheap is one way. It attracts unsavory crowds but it's the only way for the business and the customers to live. The location becomes a home for the guests and young children don't know what it is like to have anything else. playing in the parking lot, running around at all hours, not having any supervision, it's not the best environment and kids grow up too fast, this film perfectly showing that side of life you probably drive by every day.
big shoutout to the two young girls - Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and Jancey (Valeria Cotto) - for not just getting to be kids on screen but also having to play a lot of emotional scenes, making it as truthful as can be. then you have the Motel's maintenance man Bobby (Willem Dafoe), who like many maintenance men, has to be the one to deal with all the customers issues and keep the place running, what i loved about his character is that he really tries to do his best. then the director Sean Baker making a fantastic second feature that really captures this world.
I thought it was a really solid film, it just goes through the days of this family and friends living in a local Motel and what goes on. it does build up to an ending that i really thought was beautiful (you can view it a few different ways though). glad i got to see this and i'm excited for what Baker will make next.