The Florida Project (2017) - Sean Baker
To transcend from the monumental details that could possibly shape a child’s life and land on a ground that’s most dense and affected by the microscopic living of life is this film’s beauty. It doesn’t define a “way of living” nor does it set any limitations against it. What makes The Florida Project work is its crispness and audacity.
Every character’s consciousness is deeply imbued by their capacity for understanding and sentiment. Leaving no scope for knee-jerk reactions or spontaneity. Rather, the lives of Moonee, Bobby, and Halley interweave in such a way that it seems unfiltered, brave, and yet hidden in plain sight.
It’s easier to regard this film as an account of a young mother’s struggle or frustration; mirroring that of a child’s or Bobby’s (William Dafoe). But that’s not it. Sean Baker has transcribed a film as if from a foreign language into a film with emphatic complexity. It’s a film about perspective and the actor that holds the torch, from beginning to end, is Moonee played by Brooklynn Prince. An enigmatic and impressive soul who, at a time in the film, stood in front of a fallen tree and still marveled at its ability to grow when still bent.
The striking motels and the Magic Castle play coyly with the vibe of the film. Which not only recognizes this film as a masterpiece but also realizes the intensity of human relationships and how they’re never forgotten even when misplaced. To watch it is to observe the slow descent of a life measured in seconds and not years. And to honor and guard it unflinchingly on one’s shoulders as if it’s not responsibility but the world’s greatest treasure.