Dysfunctional America. File this alongside American Honey, a refreshing new breed of American Cinema that shows us the peeling lead paint and the authentic harsh reality which is not Kardashians and cronuts, it's survival in a society that doesn't give a shit about anyone who can't afford a ticket to Walt Disney World.
The get-through-the-day realities of the families living in this static "Futureland" unravel in the shadow of souvenir shops and magic kingdoms. Brooklynn Prince is magnetic and irresistible, despite the pervasive lack of hope she confronts on a daily basis. Sean Baker is a special filmmaker.
This is a beautiful and heartbreaking film that features a great performance from Willem Dafoe and child performances that aren't annoying. This film is up there with the likes of Truffaut's 400 Blows.
Intense and provocative, richly saturated for maximum impact, a genuine tale of despair and tragedy which both practically and metaphorically eschews tales of redemption, inspiration, and fantasy endings. 88/100 - Excellent. (4.5)
One of the most flamboyantly episodic films I have ever seen, THE FLORIDA PROJECT certainly lopes its limber way past some serious revelations (which commendably for the most part feel more captured than coerced), but ultimately kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Don't get me wrong. It's indisputably a major work. I spent a lot of time working frontline w/ the down and out. There is admittedly much truth here.
Respect, again, for Baker showing how it's done in terms of respectful (but also badass, and beautiful) representation of the underrepresented, in a way that feels, actually, authentic. Lightly, with sass & empathy, Baker does the political work of almost Ken Loach. But fun. Full. Life by the balls, like an Anna Magnani film. (I grew up that poor; honestly don't think I'd ever seen the fun bits celebrated before.) <3