7.7/10
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4 user 31 critic

The Florida Project (2017)

R | | Drama | 10 November 2017 (UK)
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Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Jancey
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Christopher Rivera ...
Scooty
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Jack
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Tourist John
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Narek
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Gloria
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Jason Blackwater ...
Ticket-Buying Dad
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Charlie Coachman
Jim Coleman ...
Cabbie
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Cabbie
Kelly Fitzgerald ...
Twistee Treat Girl's Mom
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Church Group Sarah
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Storyline

Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

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Drama

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Rated R for language throughout, disturbing behavior, sexual references and some drug material. | See all certifications »
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10 November 2017 (UK)  »

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2.35 : 1
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Willem DeFoe spent a week living in the filming area before production in order to immerse himself in the life of the characters & master the nuances of the regional dialect. See more »

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User Reviews

 
DaFoe is utterly brilliant but the film leaves much to be desired.
14 September 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Florida Project is the third feature film from writer-director Sean Baker and, while being an improvement over Tangerine and Starlet, The Florida Project is still missing the heart it needs to be an everlasting and impactful film. From his cinematic conception, Baker has had a knack for showing very dingy lifestyles bursting with a color palate that would make George Miller weep. But underneath the colorful array that he includes is a superficial mess of a film. One that thinks it is smarter and more heartfelt than it really is.

Telling the story of a young girl living in a by-the-hour motel ran by a seedy motel manager (Willem DaFoe) with a heart of gold and having a drug abusing, prostitute mother doesn't exactly translate to feel good. The young girl decides to let her imagination take wind and shield her from the harsh realities of life. While this sounds like it should hit hard, it doesn't. Not even a little bit. The problem that Sean Baker has in all of his films is his characters. All of them are begging for sympathy when sympathy is the last thing they deserve. While I think the young girl, Moonee, deserves our sympathies, no one else does. Every one in this film has gotten themselves here by their own doing and Baker tries desperately to make us feel for them. It may work on some audiences but it was wasted on me.

Overall, this feels like a cheap grindhouse drama that really doesn't do any favors to the actors. The cinematography in the film is top notch and definitely shows that Baker has a visual eye but, as with his previous 2 films, the story is severely lacking. While I definitely think Baker has talent, it doesn't lie within his original stories. For those of you who enjoyed Baker's Tangerine or Starlet, give this a shot. Anyone else, you might want to skip it.


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