The Florida Project ★★★★

The Florida Project is chalk full of beautiful pastels and golden hour sunsets. There is so much noise and chaos, children playing over parents screaming over helicopters whirring. The kids are crude and adorable and imaginative. The adults are messy and ridiculous and struggling. Brooklynn Prince is fearless as our young protagonist. Bria Vintaite is painfully honest as Hailey. All of the performances are raw and real and truthful.

It is a flawed film. It’s long. The ending threw me off (but maybe that’s not such a bad thing). There were pacing problems. Certain gags didn’t work for me. But god, there was so much heart.

The entire movie is grounded in an innocence that is just a little rough around the edges. It presents a world that is both compassionate and harsh, full of a childish wonder that coexists with some of life’s worst obstacles. Yet, it all comes together in a flurry of giggles and ice cream and warm summer nights, and honestly? I was pleasantly surprised to see that it worked quite wonderfully.

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