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The Florida Project (2017)

R | | Drama | 10 November 2017 (UK)
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Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.

Director:

Sean Baker
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Popularity
1,449 ( 906)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 64 wins & 123 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brooklynn Prince ... Moonee (as Brooklynn Kimberly Prince)
Christopher Rivera ... Scooty
Aiden Malik ... Dicky
Josie Olivo Josie Olivo ... Grandma Stacy
Valeria Cotto ... Jancey
Edward Pagan Edward Pagan ... Dicky's Dad (as Edward 'Punky' Pagan)
Bria Vinaite ... Halley
Patti Wiley Patti Wiley ... Amber
Jasineia Ramos Jasineia Ramos ... Luci
Willem Dafoe ... Bobby
Rosa Medina Perez Rosa Medina Perez ... Bertha
Mela Murder ... Ashley
Krystal Nicole Watts Krystal Nicole Watts ... Case Worker (as Krystal Gordon)
Bronwyn Valley Bronwyn Valley ... Twistee Treat Girl
Kelly Fitzgerald Kelly Fitzgerald ... Twistee Treat Girl's Mom
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Storyline

Halley lives with her six year old daughter Moonee in a budget motel along one of the commercial strips catering to the Walt Disney World tourist clientele outside Orlando, Florida. Halley, who survives largely on welfare, has little respect for people, especially those who cross her, it an attitude that she has passed down to Moonee, who curses and gives the finger like her mother. Although the motel's policy is not to allow long term rentals, Bobby, the motel manager, has made arrangements for people like Halley to live there while not undermining the policy as he realizes that many such tenants have no place to go otherwise. Halley, Moonee and Moonee's friends, who live in the motel or others like it along the strip and who she often drags into her disruptive pranks, are often the bane of Bobby's existence, but while dealing with whatever problem arises, Bobby has a soft spot especially for the children and thus, by association, their parents, as he knows that Moonee and others ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Find Your Kingdom. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, disturbing behavior, sexual references and some drug material. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Portuguese

Release Date:

10 November 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Florida Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$157,553, 8 October 2017

Gross USA:

$5,904,366

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,971,298
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frequent flying of helicopters overhead was written into the script because production did not have enough budget to stop the helicopters from flying. See more »

Goofs

When the woman is sunbathing topless, the sun goes from being overhead to in front of her. See more »

Quotes

Halley: [while being confronted by CPS after Moonee runs away] You just let her get away? And I'm the one who's unfit? FUCK YOU!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This film is not authorized, sponsored, endorsed, produced, or distributed by, or in any way officially associated with the Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates." See more »

Connections

Featured in Half in the Bag: 2017 Movie Catch-up: Part 2 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Celebration
Performed by Kool & The Gang
Written by Ronald Bell, Claydes Smith, George Funky Brown (as George Melvin Brown), J.T. Taylor (as James Warren 'J.T.' Taylor), Robert Spike Mickens, Earl Toon (as Earl Eugene Toon Jr.), Dennis D.T. Thomas (as Ronald Dennis Thomas), Robert Kool Bell (as Robert E. Bell), Eumir Deodato
Published by WB Music Corp. / Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Baker brilliance
18 October 2017 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. "The Happiest Place on Earth" has long been a Disney catchphrase. The irony for those living on the road to Disney World is the focus of the latest from ground-breaking filmmaker Sean Baker. Mr. Baker was the creative force behind the remarkable TANGERINE (shot entirely with iphones) a couple of years ago, and his most recent film solidifies his brilliance at bringing us the fringes of society – those we don't typically see on screen. Beyond that, these are the folks many of us pay little attention to in real life.

The Magic Castle Motel is a lavender monstrosity that belies the daily struggles of those who live behind its purple doors. It's actually a seedy extended-stay that caters to ultra-budget guests. Included among those are 6 year old Moonee (Brooklyn Kimberly Prince) and her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera). As we watch them spit on a car below their perch on the motel balcony, we quickly judge these as kids with a bit too much free time and a shortage of parental guidance.

As the summer days roll on, we tag along as Moonee leads Scooty and their new friend Jancey (Valeria Cotto) in some boundary-pushing adventures. Their fun ranges from typical kid mischief to accidents with more serious ramifications. The brilliance here is that through the child's eye, we see joy and excitement and fun. We hear the purity of giggles and giddy screeches as the kids bound between tourist traps, ice cream parlors, and rooms forbidden as off-limits. All of this miscreant activity occurs amidst the adults who trudge on simply trying to survive another day.

While we might be tempted to recall Cat Stevens' lyrics, "while the sinners sin, the children play", it's director Baker that refuses to pass judgment. Moonee's mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) was recently fired from her "dancing" job, and is now constantly on the prowl to make enough money to cover the weekly motel bill. She clearly loves her daughter, but is too proud and angry, and just has no idea of how to pull out of this vicious cycle of poverty. The artificial dreams that are prevalent in so many films have no place at the Magic Castle Motel. It's about the next meal and keeping a roof above.

Don't go searching for plot here. Instead, at times it feels like a documentary on Moonee or the spirited need for fun and laughter that is in the DNA of kids. We are just following a real kid around, and that's a tribute to the marvel that is Brooklyn Kimberly Prince. She steals every scene and most of the movie … and that's in spite of the terrific performances from Ms. Vinaite and screen vet Willem Dafoe. It's a rare "normal" role for Mr. Dafoe, and he makes the most of it as Bobby, the motel's manager. He is also a father figure, mediator of disputes, bill collector, and protector of damaged souls. With no hint of saccharine or Hollywood mush, Bobby is unable to detach emotionally from those who live at the hotel, not because he is soft, but rather because he is human. We see his demeanor change drastically when the owner of the hotel arrives for inspection. Bobby understands the fragility of his own situation due to what he witnesses each day.

Director Baker is a master of color use and the blending of abrupt framed images with the handhelds in close proximity within motel rooms and personal interactions. His story (co-written with his TANGERINE and STARLET collaborator Chris Bergoch) never feels condescending, preachy or romanticized. There is no blatant political statement being made. These are folks living their lives as best they are able within the confines of their situation. The police and Child Protective Services are always hovering as a reminder that the next mistake could significantly alter lives. Somehow, the film is both hilarious and heart-breaking. The obvious comparison is to last year's MOONLIGHT, and it could even be viewed as a prequel to American HONEY. Mostly it's a slice of rarely seen life and further proof that Sean Baker is already an important filmmaker, and one that likely has more to say. As for the debate around the final scene, does it really matter? There is no better place for a child to escape reality … even if it might only be in their mind. Sometimes that's the only escape we get.


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