Review in Brief: The Florida Project (2017)

I’ve no idea why it took me so long to watch THE FLORIDA PROJECT, one of the best films of 2017. So few films (STAND BY ME and the new IT spring to mind as other good examples) show kids actually behaving like kids. You also never get as naturalistic, unforced performances than if you just give young actors free reign. The behaviour of Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) is excusable because she’s a child, but her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) isn’t easy to root for, existing in a seemingly permanent state of arrested development and biting down hard on any threat to her fragile idyll. The kindly fleapit hotel owner Bobby (Willem Dafoe, excellent) drops a nice unexpected CHINATOWN reference in his dialogue at one point: “Don’t think I think you’re as dumb as you want me to think”. This is a really dark, grounded drama with a bubblegum palette, perfect to sideline viewers expecting something cheerier! SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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