Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Florida Project (2017)

So many people I follow on Letterboxd seemed to love The Florida Project so I decided to give it a try myself. My expectations though lowered quite a bit the day before watching it as I learned that this film basically is 2 hours of kids running around and being kids, and somehow the movie managed to disappoint me.

The film follows the summer of Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), a six-year-old girl living day to day in a motel in Orlando, not much far away from Disneyworld, with her drug abusing, prostitute mother (Bria Vinaite) as they try to stay out of trouble and make ends meet. 

The problem is that the plot is so thin there's barely one. As I said above, it's just two hours of kids screaming and running around and being kids and mostly doing bad things --spitting on cars and other kids, to name one--, a young woman trying to earn money in any way possible while giving absolutely no f**ks about her daughter, and a motel manager doing his job. I don't know, maybe I'm the problem because I don't like kids, but this not only was boring but it also was obnoxiously annoying.

Another problem I had with The Florida Project is that I didn't really understand what the writers, director Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch, were trying to do. The film wants to be a coming-of-age about a precocious six-year-old living in poverty and some sort of documentary about the life of those living in the shadows of Disneyworld, but it doesn't work well as neither of them.

A24
Then there's the fact that the film features some quite unlikeable and annoying characters with no development and, most of all, no redeeming qualities. The kids come off as some brats already getting into trouble and were, in my opinion, too happy given the harsh reality they live in. We don't get to know them and it's hard to care about someone you don't know, not even if that someone is a little girl. 

The acting isn't that great either. I really don't get where all those praises are coming from. Sure, Brooklyn Price gives a fine performance and so does Bria Vinaite, but it's nothing special. And don't even get me started on Willem Dafoe. He does very little as the motel manager and they want to give him an Oscar for it.

The Florida Project does have a few redeeming qualities though. The cinematography is very beautiful and its bright colours make it seems like the film is seen through the eyes of a kid. And there are also some pretty motels. Also, the fact that most of the film has no soundtrack really worked for me. 

6 comments :

  1. I am proud of the fact that I never changed a diaper so why do I want to see a bunch of brats running around. There is never a chance I would really want to see this even though I like Willem Dafoe

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    1. It's not worth it. His performance isn't even that good.

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  2. I liked this but I definitely felt the length. Ot was too long. This one is definitely an acquired taste. I'm not sure why Dafoe is getting so much praise either.

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    1. Finally someone who agrees with me about Dafoe!

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  3. Dafoe was good but the script really didn't give him this much to do. I don't even know what they could use here as his Oscar clip

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