Director: Sean Baker
Writers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Staring: Brooklyn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: November 10, 2017

The Florida Project is a hard movie to watch. And it is meant to be that way.

I am upset that it took me this long to watch The Florida Project, but I am grateful that I have. Sean Baker’s film shines a light on the life of the impoverished and the unseen/intangible consequences of poverty and lower-middle class. Putting the audience through this story via the eyes of a six year old adds to the heartbreak. Viewers know the consequences of the actions and attitudes of the adult characters in this movie, but to put those stamps on a young girl is heartbreaking.

Monee (Brooklyn Kimberly Prince) is a rambunctious and rude child. Her only reference point for polite behavior is Halley (Bria Vinaite), her belligerent, and irresponsible grandmother. Halley is only in charge of Monee because Halley’s daughter of 15 years old had Monee and was unable to take care of her.

This toxic relationship is the through-string for the entire movie, but the twine of their bond is knotted by the immaturity and desperation of Halley. The only moral compass in The Florida Project is Bobby, played by the Oscar nominated Willem Dafoe. With that being said, Bobby is not said and he has his own transgressions to work through.

Before just attacking the bullet points of my random thoughts, the main message is to watch The Florida Project and try not to feel something. It is impossible.

  • Will Dafoe is amazing as Bobby. He has the ragged summer tan and his look is quintessential apartment manager. The scene that stole me away and truly let to his Oscar Nomination is when he was escorting away pedophile away from the kids. It is important to the story because it shows how even an adult who is flawed can still protect those who need it and deserve it; it highlights how bay Halley is as a gaurdian.
  • Looking at Bria Vinaite’s IMDB, I was happy to see her receive some recognition from various critics communities for her efforts in The Florida Project. She is one of the most villainous movie characters I have seen in any recent movie.
  • Seriously shout out to Brooklyn Prince for giving a tour de force performance as such a young child actor. Her portrayal as Moonee is a blend of sad, happy, and depressing. There is the desire to discipline her, hug her, educate her and run away from her.

Stanko Rating: A- (4.5/5 Stars)

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