The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★★

Oscars Preparation
My favorite cousin recommended this film to me (although it was already in my watchlist long before he mentioned it) so I made it a high priority. I’d heard much praise regarding The Florida Project, and luckily, it didn’t disappoint and it proved to be a special picture.

In a lot of ways, The Florida Project reminded me of my own childhood. Like the kids in the movie, I was a ball of energy, curiosity, and sass. As I’ve grown older I have become shyer and more reserved, but it’s kind of funny to think back to the days where I was a total brat who enjoyed challenging figures of authority and finding myself immersed in a bunch of shenanigans across my neighborhood. I lived in poverty too, so I understood where everyone was coming from in the film and it was easy to empathize with their struggles on a daily basis. Sometimes, for adults, it’s necessary to become crafty in terms of figuring out ways to provide for one’s family and to ensure that their children are taken care of in a sufficient manner. When financial situations get tough, there’s almost nothing parents wouldn’t do for their kids. I liked that The Florida Project accurately portrayed the innocence and playfulness that comes with youth, and the overall feeling of exploration. When you’re a child, having fun and receiving mental stimulation is pretty much all that matters, and you’re selfishly concerned with getting what you want. It’s a sweet period of development and it’s largely carefree. But I also thought it was good to incorporate the adults’ perspectives too since they have it the hardest, trying to make ends meet as best as they could.

I think the only facet I disliked about The Florida Project was Hailey’s character. I know why she is the way that she is, but when it comes to her personality, I really wasn’t fond of her and she didn’t have any outstanding redeeming qualities to be honest. The kids were cute though, so thankfully not every character was bad. Also, Willem Dafoe’s performance was very solid! The ending of The Florida Project drove me to so many tears that I was literally sniffling because I cried a waterfall, I was a mess by the time it finished. It was optimistic yet it tore my heart.

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