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.
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
Willem Dafoe spent a week living in the filming area before production in order to immerse himself in the life of the characters & master the nuances of the regional dialect. See more »
When the woman is sunbathing topless, the sun goes from being overhead to in front of her. See more »
[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!
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"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 »
A brilliant character study, that blends a powerful story with great humor
I really liked this film, as unorthodox as it was. The first hour was uproariously funny, before becoming a deep, and poignant study of the millions of lives of Americans who are living on the fringes of society, just barely surviving day to day. There is a shocking lack of cinema devoted to this underclass, and seeing this small film, was refreshing, enlightening, and surprising, and a refreshing contrast to the plutocracy we see all around us today.
The performances were outstanding. I am not sure where Bria Vinaite has been hiding, but she was astonishing as the mom, Hailey. Her daughter and all of the other kids were great, and their interactions, behavior, dialogue and play was hysterical. Then it kind of morphed into a more serious story, that was credible, and powerful. Willem Dafoe was his usual masterful self, and played a very real, very likable guy. A tough guy with a heart of gold.
I highly recommend this film. Not for everyone. Several people walked out during the film. My presumption was that they either thought the film focused too much time on the kids, or they were living in a state of denial, like so many Americans these days, pretending that this huge underclass does not exist. Regardless, it felt like a story that needed to be told. And it was told very well. Kudos to the filmmakers.
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