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The Florida Project (2017)

  • 20-11-2017 6:17pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,216 Looper007


    Surprised to have not seen a thread for this wonderful film. Sean Baker's follow up to his low budget break through Tangerine, The Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning breakout turn) and her rebellious mother Hailey over the course of a single summer. The two live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget hotel managed by Bobby (Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion. Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life.

    With probably one of most loveable and fantastic kid performances I've seen in quite a while, Brooklyn Prince is the heart and soul of this film and along with her friends deliver some of the funniest moments you see this year. Also William Dafoe delivering a Oscar worthy performance and it's great seen him play a straight up good guy, he's fantastic in this. A scene near the end of the film
    When Moonee is been taken away by Child protection agency
    when Dafoe goes downstairs for a smoke and is in silence as mayhem goes on upstairs is one of the best scenes in 2017. Also special mention to Bria Vinaite as Moonee's mum Hailey, she isn't the most likeable character and puts her daughter into dangerous situations but she clearly loves her daughter but
    But as it's heartbreaking for Moonee, it's still the right thing to take her away from the mum who clearly isn't in the right place to take care of Moonee
    .

    Loved every minute of this gem, even the ending which I could see splitting a few down a middle with how abrupt it ends.


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,213 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    Genuine empathy and respect is the thing in a Sean Baker film. It's so easy to look at the underrepresented, the misunderstood with a mix of good intentions and privileged condescension. Baker, though, really aims to understand his characters and what they represent. It's not poverty porn, it's not some sort of 'othering' - he simply wants to capture something that little bit more real than we usually get.

    The Florida Project is, of course, one of the best films of the year, if not the best. It is a work overflowing with life & energy, enough to fill multiple films. American cinema probably has never managed to elicit such natural performances out of kids - you're into Ozu territory here, albeit Ozu after a few too many packs of Smarties (I say that in the nicest possible way). There can be a general tendency in critical circles to overstate the quality of a child's performance - because, hey, nobody wants to be that person ripping apart a kid's work - but Brooklyn Prince is the real deal here, and the awards nominations will be justified (assuming she isn't unfairly ignored). Willem Dafoe, too, gets the sort of truly understated role that few mainstream actors are gifted - and he owns it.

    There's a casual brilliance to the form of the thing - a lighthandness that works so well that you'd be forgiven for sometimes forgetting how much care is actually put into the visual design and worldbuilding.

    Above all, though, it is another superbly judged portrait of a forgotten, neglected community, just like Tangerine was. The occupants of the motel are a ragtag bunch - flawed, troubled people. But Baker neither looks down or up at them: the film is on their level. Whether they're being cruel or whether they're being loving, these characters are outliers in American cinema - and, no matter how dark things get, Baker and the camera don't judge. That, again, is the thing.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 10,602 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Fysh


    By turns charming and sad, with some very funny moments and great performances across the board, I thought this was excellent. Tonally similar to Tangerine, with a bit of narrative or thematic focus borrowed from American Honey. Easily one of the best films of the year for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,966 ✭✭✭ homerun_homer


    Fantastic film, really charming, funny, sad and beautifully shot. The kids were so great in it and very natural. I'd love to see behind the scenes doc to see how Sean Baker managed the performances. Willem Dafoe is brilliant and understated in his performance also, while the actress playing the mother was superb in making you feel both sympathetic to their poverty but sickened by her nature.


  • Registered Users Posts: 457 ✭✭ Smegging hell


    Loved it also, very engrossing. I didn't realise until afterwards that it was by the same director as Tangerine, but I should have guessed. Highly tonally similar indeed - looking forward to more of Baker's films.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭ metaoblivia


    I saw this film last night and it was beautiful. I'm a native of Central Florida, and I felt the film captured the aesthetic of that area perfectly. The performances from the actors were tremendous.

    However, the ending didn't ring true for me. I loved that the film was set in actual locations in the Kissimmee/South Orlando area,
    but that also means I know where those things are in relation to each other. The Magic Castle Inn is about 8 miles from Disney and you have to cross a very wide and very busy highway to get there. Not to mention, Disney isn't just off the highway. Once you take the exit to go to the theme park, there's a maze of roads to get you to the various parks. I just don't believe 6 year olds could navigate that and not be picked up by someone, especially crossing that major highway.

    I also thought that
    Disney worked better as a presence that was always felt but never directly seen. If the kids went anywhere in the end, I thought it should have been to the big fallen tree that Moonee described as "broken, but still growing."


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,216 Looper007


    I saw this film last night and it was beautiful. I'm a native of Central Florida, and I felt the film captured the aesthetic of that area perfectly. The performances from the actors were tremendous.

    However, the ending didn't ring true for me. I loved that the film was set in actual locations in the Kissimmee/South Orlando area,
    but that also means I know where those things are in relation to each other. The Magic Castle Inn is about 8 miles from Disney and you have to cross a very wide and very busy highway to get there. Not to mention, Disney isn't just off the highway. Once you take the exit to go to the theme park, there's a maze of roads to get you to the various parks. I just don't believe 6 year olds could navigate that and not be picked up by someone, especially crossing that major highway.

    I also thought that
    Disney worked better as a presence that was always felt but never directly seen. If the kids went anywhere in the end, I thought it should have been to the big fallen tree that Moonee described as "broken, but still growing."

    If there's one thing that many are split on it's the ending my own take on it
    Was it's all in the mind of Moonee, that she imagines her friend and herself running off to Disney land, seen as it's the most joyous place in the world. In reality she's still there crying and her little friend doesn't know what to do. Soon the Children service will catch her
    . That's my view on it, many would disagree. I think ending it darker would have been a bummer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭ metaoblivia


    Looper007 wrote: »
    If there's one thing that many are split on it's the ending my own take on it
    Was it's all in the mind of Moonee, that she imagines her friend and herself running off to Disney land, seen as it's the most joyous place in the world. In reality she's still there crying and her little friend doesn't know what to do. Soon the Children service will catch her
    . That's my view on it, many would disagree. I think ending it darker would have been a bummer.

    I like your interpretation and it reconciles some of my concerns. I would still say that I would prefer
    Disney to be the giant that is always felt but never seen, even for the viewer. And I think going to the oak tree could have offered a sense of optimism too, while remaining more rooted in the film's realism.

    It was still a wonderful movie, and it captured that part of Florida better than any film I've ever seen. Maybe it's because I'm from there, but I could feel and smell and taste Florida through the visual imagery. Even OBT and the Sandhill cranes got a shout out. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,431 MilesMorales1


    I loved it and I'm idly curious why there was reports of so many people walking out of screenings of this. I thought it was goddamn magnificent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,966 ✭✭✭ homerun_homer


    However, the ending didn't ring true for me. I loved that the film was set in actual locations in the Kissimmee/South Orlando area,
    but that also means I know where those things are in relation to each other. The Magic Castle Inn is about 8 miles from Disney and you have to cross a very wide and very busy highway to get there. Not to mention, Disney isn't just off the highway. Once you take the exit to go to the theme park, there's a maze of roads to get you to the various parks. I just don't believe 6 year olds could navigate that and not be picked up by someone, especially crossing that major highway.

    I also thought that
    Disney worked better as a presence that was always felt but never directly seen. If the kids went anywhere in the end, I thought it should have been to the big fallen tree that Moonee described as "broken, but still growing."

    The ending is jarring on the first watch, I've yet to see it a second time, but with time to consider it I agree with the above poster that it is a fantasy in the head of Monee. The fact that it changes look and style is in part a give away (it was shot on iPhone in part to separate the style, and so they could covertly film at Disney). It's like the the makers are giving a brighter ending when it's not really that happy an ending. In the minds of the child she can escape to the magic kingdom when things get bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 457 ✭✭ Smegging hell


    I loved it and I'm idly curious why there was reports of so many people walking out of screenings of this. I thought it was goddamn magnificent.

    From looking at social media, a lot of those who walked out claimed the film had 'no plot'. I think that it's a case of a lot of cinemagoers having a very linear idea of what a plot is and reacting badly to anything that strays from that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,850 ✭✭✭ sporina


    watched this movie at the weekend - absolutely fantastic - was so blown away by it - right up there with I Daniel Blake.. obv the wee girl was class - but loved the manager too.. but man how class was Moonee... gee... they way she played.. her expressions.. they were perfect.. wow - unfathomable - how can a child at that age act like that..

    Hats off to the director... absolute class!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,115 ✭✭✭ NATLOR


    Just seen this,brilliant brilliant movie, superb performances across the board specially from Brooklyn Prince.
    This and 3 billboards for me were the movie highlights from the past 12 months


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,850 ✭✭✭ sporina


    NATLOR wrote: »
    Just seen this,brilliant brilliant movie, superb performances across the board specially from Brooklyn Prince.
    This and 3 billboards for me were the movie highlights from the past 12 months

    here here - my sentiments exactly.. not been that blown away since Lion perhaps, or I Daniel Blake.. when watching the end of The Florida Project, it was like something or something literally stopped me in my tracks - time stood still.. incredible...
    Adored 3 billboards but not in the same way as the above 3 mentioned..


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭ Rfrip


    Was really looking forward to this given all the reviews. God I just didn’t rate this at all. The kids irratated me tbh. I must be a monster and dead inside
    It’s obviously me, havnt read one bad review!


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,384 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    Charming little film that's really carried by the kids' sense of wonderment, play and curiosity. It's hard to say enough about the performances here, and the camera never feels intrusive or misplaced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,850 ✭✭✭ sporina


    i still feel breathless when I think of one of the last scenes when Moonee cries on her friends doorstep... powerful stuff..


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭ Rfrip


    Well that’s it then. I am dead inside


  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ El Duda


    The Florida Project - 6.5/10

    The story of an impoverished Mother and Daughter who are struggling to get by, living in the shadows of Disney Land in Florida.

    It's quite an odd film and it's very unconventional in the way its directed. At times it feels like there isn't a script and you're just watching everyone improvise. It almost has a fly-on-the-wall feel to it and the garish purple motel in which it is set is actually real. They kept it open during filming so some of the guests you see as extras in the background are real.

    The focus is on 6 year old Moonee and a lot of the drama is seen/heard from her point of view. As for plot, it feels pretty aimless for the majority and it meanders slowly from one dramatic moment to another. All of these dramatic set pieces add some much needed punctuation to a film, which at times, doesn't feel like its really about anything.

    The rave reviews that accompanied this film at the time of release suggest to me that this is more one for the critics. I can imagine that when you're tasked with watching as many films as they have to, something like this comes along and is just so different/original it captivates them. Its nigh on impossible to put this film in a box and I struggle to think of anything to compare it to.

    Despite a couple of shocking moments of drama, including one brilliant emotional gut punch, I found it to be quite a disappointment. Willem Dafoe and the young Brooklynn Prince's performances are its main saving grace. I'm glad I resisted temptation to buy in on Bluray as its a film I can't see myself watching again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,850 ✭✭✭ sporina


    El Duda wrote: »
    The Florida Project - 6.5/10

    The story of an impoverished Mother and Daughter who are struggling to get by, living in the shadows of Disney Land in Florida.

    It's quite an odd film and it's very unconventional in the way its directed. At times it feels like there isn't a script and you're just watching everyone improvise. It almost has a fly-on-the-wall feel to it and the garish purple motel in which it is set is actually real. They kept it open during filming so some of the guests you see as extras in the background are real.

    The focus is on 6 year old Moonee and a lot of the drama is seen/heard from her point of view. As for plot, it feels pretty aimless for the majority and it meanders slowly from one dramatic moment to another. All of these dramatic set pieces add some much needed punctuation to a film, which at times, doesn't feel like its really about anything.

    The rave reviews that accompanied this film at the time of release suggest to me that this is more one for the critics. I can imagine that when you're tasked with watching as many films as they have to, something like this comes along and is just so different/original it captivates them. Its nigh on impossible to put this film in a box and I struggle to think of anything to compare it to.

    Despite a couple of shocking moments of drama, including one brilliant emotional gut punch, I found it to be quite a disappointment. Willem Dafoe and the young Brooklynn Prince's performances are its main saving grace. I'm glad I resisted temptation to buy in on Bluray as its a film I can't see myself watching again.

    gee sounds like there was a lot that you actually liked about the movie..
    don't really get where your criticism stems from...
    and I personally loved it..
    i would love to see your review of a bad movie lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,206 ✭✭✭ weemcd


    I just watched this last night myself, as I've quickly been realising anything A24 distribute seems to be complete gold.

    This film has so much fúcking heart. The Motel seems so lived in, so real, the childlike joy we experience along with the children is always tinged with the sadness and seediness that isn't always directly in sight, but just around the edges.

    Defoe is fantastic as the film's moral backbone, the pillar of normality in an otherwise chaotic and unpredictable landscape.

    I have never seen children behave so naturally on camera, the joy they bring, so much humour, so much honesty.

    This film has tremendous heart, and I would have no problem recommending it to anyone.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 718 ✭✭✭ holly8


    Just watched this...a great movie.


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