The Florida Project

By Daniela Kozak

North American filmmaker Sean Baker has a particular sensibility for character portrayals. Despite how dark their circumstances may be, Baker approaches his subjects in a loving and compassionate manner. In this film, the world is seen through the eyes of Bobby, the motel manager at Magic Castle, played by Willem Dafoe. Bobby is witness to the vital happiness and neglect experienced by Moonee and her friends — kids spending their time wandering through highways, colourful motels, and abandoned lots in Florida.

The notion of childhood as a happy territory is a myth created from an adult universe. Reality is always ambiguous for everybody, including children. What is extraordinary about this film is that it captures the complexity of the childhood experience. This is in great part possible due to the outstanding performance given by Brooklynn Prince, who plays Moonee. Through her, the film represents a way into a precarious world that is genuine and full of playfulness and fantasy.