- Adina Sutton, Aiden Malik, Betty Jeune, Bria Vinaite, Bronwyn Valley, Brooklynn Prince, Caleb Landry Jones, Carl Bradfield, Cecilia Quinan, Christopher Rivera, Edward Pagan, Gary B. Gross, Giovanni Rodriguez, Jasineia Ramos, Jason Blackwater, Jim R. Coleman, Joanne Moreno, Josie Olivo, Karren Karagulian, Kelly Fitzgerald, Kit Sullivan, Krystal Gordon, Lauren O'Quinn, Macon Blair, Mela Murder, Patti Wiley, Rosa Medina Perez, Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Samantha Parisi, Sandy Kane, Shail Kamini Ramcharan, Sonya McCarter, Valeria Cotto, Willem Dafoe
- Sean Baker
Sean Baker’s The Florida Project is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood. Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, The Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning debut) and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinai, another major discovery) over the course of a single summer. Mother and daughter live week to week at The Magic Castle, a budget hotel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion. Despite living in poverty, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of her mother, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.
It takes a very special movie to change the way we look at the people around us. The Florida Project is a very special movie.
Thanks to a handful of mesmerizing performances and Baker’s deft directing, The Florida Project is a must-see work and one of the year’s best films.