The Discoverer

The Florida Project takes you back to your childhood persona

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The Florida Project is a movie that is destined to be remember as one of the great films about the innocence, yet beauty of childhood. This movie is a 2017 humanist film from Tangerine Director Sean Baker. Set in a motel, just beyond the boundaries of “the happiest place on earth”, The Florida Project illustrates the harsh contrast between people’s life in the motel and how it is nowhere near as magical or as happy as lies just blocks away.

The Florida Project  follows the day to day life of a teenage mom and her daughter, while they try to surpass all of the economical and mental obstacles of living in a motel room. Leaded by newcomers Bria Vinaite who stars in her first ever role, by portraying Hailey, a teen mom living in a purple motel room with Brooklyn Prince, who starts as Moonee, her six year old daughter, the film feels extremely genuine. In addition to the new starts, seasoned Hollywood actor, Willem Dafoe abandons the  bad guy persona he caries in films such as Spiderman and The Justice League, to portray Bobby, the motel manager, who acts as a paternal figure for both Moone and Hailey. The movie realistically shows families living a hand to mouth existence, while other children and families engorge on a life of surplus  just miles away. Additionally from showing the hardships, the film also excels at showing the ignorance and purity of being a kid, meanwhile the parents take care of the “grown up stuff”.

Sean Baker raised to fame because of his micro budget breakout hit; Tangerine, which is about the life of a transgender sex worker. However, he really outdone himself in The Florida Project. He hired a newbie on acting as the main character and he completely conquered his mayor goal for the film: to conjure a child’s eye sense of wonder. Both Tangerine and The Florida Project express the difficulties about being an adult, and both of the films include controversial and harsh topics such as sex workers, and motels, however The Florida Project takes the pie since there is a beauty of seeing life in a kid’s perspective.

Brooklyn Prince is an instant super star as she portrays Moonee on the film. Moonee has watched and learn from her mother’s sasines, talking more like a 20 year old adult than a 6 year old kid. However, you can also see her pureness and childish mentality. She sees her mother walk into the bathroom with different men every single day, she sees how her mother struggle to pay the rent, she sees her mother cry in desperation.

Although the movie is kind of slow, and other movies that talk about mother and children’s bonds such as Juno are much faster, there is a beauty of watching the day to day life of a mother struggling, but doing anything and everything to keep her little princess safe and happy.

In movies such as Where the heart is, Natalie Portman portrays a teenage mother with her baby. In the movie Natalie gets the support from a nurse from the hospital and she instantly finds a home  and she finds neighbors that will be her whole support system throughout the entire movie. On the other hand, The Florida Project is as realistic as it can be. It shows the reality of many teenage moms in America. It is not that easy to find a support system, it is not that easy to find money to take care of the children. Natalie Portman did not work a day in the film, on the other hand, Hailey sells her own body in order to pay the rent. Hailey also worries about social services taking away the most precious person in her life.

One of The Florida Project’s biggest and rawest scenes is when Moonee stands at a window watching her mom,and she says to one of her friends “she is about to cry, I always know when adults are about to cry.” This is such a moving scene because although Moonee really shows the ignorance and innocence of being a child, right in that instant,  the audience realises that we tend to underestimate the knowledge of kids, and sometimes they know exactly what is going on. In movies such as Room, Jack is a little boy that believes that a little room is the whole world, just because his mother tells him so. On the other hand, Moonee has the perfect combination of both innocence and knowledge about her situation, even when her own mother tries to trick her.

To sum up, The Florida Project is a movie in which Baker shows both a genuine and emotional insight of the characters and their circumstances.It is heartbreaking but true. This is altogether a 5 out of 5 stars film.The audience is lucky enough to live in Moonee’s world for a couple of hours.

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The Florida Project takes you back to your childhood persona