• James Rutherford

'The Florida Project': A Vibrant and Touching Depiction of Marginal Lives on the Periphery


Movie poster for the film The Florida Project starring Brooklynn Prince and Willem Dafoe

Coming on the heels of his breakout hit Tangerine (2015), writer/director Sean Baker shifted his focus in 2017 from the sordid streets of Los Angeles to the seedy motels on the periphery of Orlando’s Disney World, and captures one momentous summer in the life of 6-year old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince). Precocious and mischievous, Monee leads a ragtag group of young friends in and around the tourist-trap motels adjacent to the world’s most famous amusement park, scaring up varying degrees of trouble while endlessly frustrating motel manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe, in a wonderfully sympathetic performance).

Equal parts heartening and harrowing, "The Florida Project" is an honest, unflinching and tender look at marginal lives struggling through day-to-day existences, contrasting the weight of adulthood with the unbridled enchantment of childhood. Young Brooklynn Prince is an absolute revelation as Moonee, delivering as stunningly assured a performance as you’ll see from any child actor anytime soon. She alone makes the film an absolute must-see.

 

View the trailer: