Tragic yet optimistic, The Florida Project is a magical realist perspective on Florida culture outside the distant castle walls of the American Disney empire; a radiant but disintegrating swamp of floral-painted hotels as landing pads for pollinating insects. Is there a better independent director in U.S. cinema today than Sean Baker? I don't believe so.
Michael Bay's entry into low-budget art film fare is a an assassination of the very culture of implants and abs Bay has deliciously glorified since his early music video days, and in some ways Pain & Gain is to Bay as Fight Club was to Fincher. The film feels high and distracted, with Bay diverting to whatever comic or sexual ephemera will please his audience in any given moment, the entire time taking delight in the absurdity of "A True Story".…