Warm, winning, and gloriously alive, Sean Baker’s The Florida Project is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood.
I absolutely loved The Florida Project! It reminded me what it was like to be a kid again, and quite often it showed me how it would have felt like to be a rebellious kid — something I’ve never had the chance to experience (cough, Asian parents).
Sean Baker has a distinctive and unique style in the way he creates that “navigative” feel in his film, similar to that of Tangerine, where the camera follows the protagonist through long, winding takes. In The Florida Project, the way we “tag along” is in a far more playful manner as compared to Tangerine. Probably also because the themes of both movies differ significantly in terms of seriousness.
So if I were to rate The Florida Project on my terms, these would be it:
- Was the movie engaging? Yes.
- Were the characters complex and well-developed? Yes.
- Was the plot predictable? No, and this isn’t a film with a clear direction (yay).
- Was the script well-written? Yes, even more beautiful than Tangerine.
- Was the movie forgettable? No, and just like Call Me By Your Name, I can’t stop thinking about this movie. In fact, I keep searching for interviews on Youtube to watch (I really miss the characters!).
So Willem Dafoe got nominated for his role in The Florida Project. I’m not sure what I feel about this. I have a hunch he was nominated based on his years of experience in this industry, rather than how amazing his performance was in the film. I’m not saying he did badly! No. I just felt that some of the other nominees had more intense roles that showcased the extent of their skills better. Willem’s role in The Florida Project was more nuanced. I’m not sure if he would win the Oscar for this role, Sam Rockwell would likely be the winner (in my opinion).
Brooklyn Prince, though!! What a gem. I love her. She is full of life and she made me cry like hell. Thank you for making me feel alive again. Her acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards was everything.
Now that I’ve seen two great films by Sean Baker, I’m a new fan, and I’ll eat up anything new that he makes!