The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★½

These are the people we judge. The ones who live in the crappy motels, who somehow can't "hold" a minimum-wage, part-time job. Why aren't their kids in school, how many kids do they have anyway, and Christ, look at all the tattoos, what makes them even think that's attractive? And so on.

Our way in to this film is showing it from the perspective of the kids, who must remain blameless as they wander about their tiny, sleazy corner of central Florida, America's vacationland. Sorry, but I do blame the mother, who has to be in the running for Worst Movie Mother of All Time. Children raising children, and all that. But wow, great performance.

I've long since grown accustomed to strong work from Willem Dafoe, but this is his most human portrayal in years, another way in for us. The invitation to empathize is here for those of us willing to watch and listen.

I understand why the film's last scene had to be shot on an iPhone, but man, what a mistake. It wasn't worth it. Compared to the lush cinematography of everything that comes before, the last scene completely took me out of the movie. The last scene! That's unforgivable. I had to lop half a star off my review just for that.

Letterboxd Review No. 233

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