“The Florida Project” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

14 October, 2017

Director: Sean Baker
Screenwriters: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Director of Photography: Alexis Zabe
Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince

Synopsis: A mother and daughter living week-to-week in a motel just outside of Disney World experience ups and downs over the course of a single summer.

Florida Project Review:

A crass and wild film about the struggles of outspoken single mothers and their unruly offspring, “The Florida Project” sees the devolution of visionary filmmaker Sean Baker who sympathises with the lowest common denominator, fancying himself as the next Mike Leigh yet failing to present an intelligent analysis of America’s abandoned families. Paradoxically vibrant with brightly coloured buildings and floral tattoos expressing a radiance that few would associate with the dregs of society, “The Florida Project” uncovers an inconceivable image in the heart of suffering, both sympathising with and exploiting those involved as they go about their business with complete normalcy.

It’s impossible not to adore Sean Baker’s work up to this point; “Starlet” with its tale of unlikely companionship between a 21-year-old and an 85-year-old and “Tangerine” with its sassy depiction of a day in the life of a transgender sex worker who trawls through L.A. on the hunt for her adulterous boyfriend. Both are instant classics on the art scene but “The Florida Project” approaches from a different angle, avoiding clear characters arcs and hitting viewers with a clunky metaphor as Baker sets his sights on the poverty-stricken district outside of Walt Disney World and obsesses over paradise across the way.

Staunchly observational but missing the absorbing textures of adult conversation, “The Florida Project” sees perspective-altering cinema in hyperactive disarray, depicting an unsightly context from a so often naïve perspective. Opting for a worm’s-eye view of poverty, prostitution, and parenthood, the film adores its child stars whose infantile measures and judgements create passive comedy in the most dire of circumstances. Shocking only in inference, the movies suggests a multitude of off-screen horrors but childish distractions capture nothing more than a frivolous lack of awareness as spitting, belching, and guzzling ice cream shapes the face of Baker’s wayward vision, culminating with a baffling and bittersweet retreat into fantasy.


Review Date
The Florida Project