The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★★½

Dilapidated dream factory. Cracked pastels. Childhood games, suffused with humidity, overshadowed by the concerns of "real life" - money, drugs, friendship, violence, stability, ice cream. I like the way Sean Baker manages chaos; first, the motel is charmingly off-kilter (The mise en scene of the moment where the motel loses power is the stuff of Tati/Tashlin dreams), but the hijinks become increasingly threatening, the action more hectic as a loss of control creeps in. There's this lovely balance between the innocence of the children and the world they live in; it's not a film about the way children see the world, so much as it is a paean to the goodness of the world, and a plea to preserve it. The ending is absolutely striking, a perfect button on a beautiful film. I hope Willem Dafoe wins an Oscar.

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