“Wish I had a bigger stomach, like I was pregnant, I’d fit food in that”Review by Lewis Goodall
Were you ever a kid? If you were well you’ve probably forgotten what it felt like, I’m 23 and I know I did. Kids these days dont have proper fun, they’re boring as hell, all they do is dance in front of their phones and copy other people, theyre crap. I think kids have forgotten how to go outside, kids dont know how to use doors, fact. This’ll all make sense soon dont worry.
The Florida Project, directed by Sean Baker, is a perfect depiction of what it’s like to live in a motel outside of Disney land. Shot over the duration of a summer, we follow Moonee (Brooklyn Price), a 6 year old trouble maker who just loves to have fun. Her and her friends get up to mischief whilst also bonding with her trashy, caring mum.
This is one of those films where nothing really happens but you just fall in love with it. All you do throughout this film is follow in the juvenile antics of Moonee and her friends whilst also getting an insight into the mums struggles but it’s more focused on Moonee. Having a window into the innocence of childhood just cant make you feel anything other than joy. It really takes you back to when you would head out with friends and get up to nothing but have the best time in the world.
The manager of the motel, Bobby (Willem Dafoe), acts almost as a father figure to Hayley (Bria Vinaite), Moonees mum. Hayley is quite the trouble maker herself so you can see where Moonee gets her attitude from. Its wonderful seeing all the times where you see Hayley and Moonee working together to try and get through the rough patch they’re through. The story mainly focuses on making the best of a bad situation rather than focusing on the bad things.
I mentioned Bobby but didn’t really speak about him but Willem plays the strict but lovable manager super well. He managed to keep everyone in line with a firm hand but also showing all the residents love where you can tell he truly cares for everyone who passes through the doors. Everyone in the film acted well, even Moonee which is always surprising when it’s a child actor. Normally its cringy because kids usually don’t know how to do anything (especially opening doors) but Moonee and her friends are all wonderful and it really makes you feel like you’re just watching a bunch of friends playing in a run down motel location.
Some of the story is predictable, I guessed what was going to happen pretty early on. Give us a struggling mum who takes drugs and needs money to support her and her child, what do you expect she does to make the money wink wink nudge nudge. But that didn’t matter, usually predicting a film is a downer but even with knowing what was going to happen, I was just so immersed in this motel world and loved every second. I could happily of watched for another hour, just watching nothing but them enjoying what they have.
Overall it’s a fantastic, light hearted film that literally anyone would enjoy in my eyes. The way they teleport you into this small world is great. Normally films like this focus on the struggling mum and what she will do to survive but it follows her child and her adventures instead which I think people need to do more often. Sometimes you’ve got to forget the fact that you’re late on rent and just dance in the rain.