The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★★½

Compassionate, sensitive, and consequentially absolutely heartbreaking, The Florida Project is brilliant. The film's depictions of people living on society's outer edges are honest, and not always flattering, but they are never belittling. We see these characters do many terrible things, and we realise to some extent that some of them are really quite toxic, but we are never invited to think of them as evil.

Because in real life, most people aren't truly evil, and absolutely no one is without fault. We see Halley functionally fail to look after her little girl adequately, and in other films this would make her absolutely horrible in every way. But we also see that she really does love Moonee, and is dealing with all kinds of shit in various aspects of her life. And that empathy is what makes the film so good.

I should also probably mention that the entire film somehow manages to be absolutely gorgeous despite being set in a location that is visually absolutely vile, and that every performance in the film is brilliant and subtle and excellent. Dafoe has been getting tons of praise, but Bria Viante might just as good as Halley, who has a much trickier job of playing a character who is a lot more obviously flawed then Dafoe's Bobby, but also has to make her seem like someone we can sympathize with and come to care about. And she pulls that off flawlessly.

And as for the film's controversial ending? Well, I'll just say that I thought it fit the film's anti-capitalist undercurrents perfectly.

I would like to write a more detailed analysis on this film sometime in the future, but for now I'll just leave it at this.

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