The Florida Project
Panorama | Special Presentations
In a group of dilapidated, pastel-coloured motels near Disney World in Orlando, Florida, troubled, down-at-heel families try to make do. Originally built to hold the tourist overflow, these are now surreal places, one of which is overseen by manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe, at his most understated) who does what he can to help cash-strapped parents like 22-year-old single mom Halley (Bria Vinaite) and her whirlwind of a six-year-old daughter, Moonee (an unstoppable Brooklynn Prince). Moonee couldn’t care less about the real-world problems of adults; as far as she and her friends—wonderfully feral kids all, brimming with equal parts innocence and devil-may-care insouciance—are concerned, they are living in a magical wonderland, and they plan on exploiting it to the full… As he tracks their increasingly daring adventures, writer-director Sean Baker (Starlet, Tangerine) gives us an immersive, moving drama awash in the colours of faded dreams and youthful hope, and a slice of Americana that, in its combination of desperation and defiance, seems particularly apt right now.
"Near-perfect… brilliant, buoyant, and ultimately heart-wrenching… Baker’s approach is to immerse you so deep in a place, and the patter of the people who live there, that it begins to feel like your home… The film adheres to the flighty, anarchic whims of its protagonists… tracking them in gorgeous 35mm shot by Alexis Zabe, whose day-glo Florida facades and pastel clouds fizz off the screen."—Emily Yoshida, Vulture
Rating: 14A - Coarse Language.