The MoFo Top 100 of the 2010s Countdown

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The Florida Project

Director Baker's camera is a mixed bag of Arri Alexa and Filmic Pro from Iphone. The mix is beautiful. The colors of these motels across the way from one another, as well as the decrepit condos are staggeringly beautiful in a dayglo and pastel overload sort of way. I believe this was a multi format picture where Baker had his DP use an iphone 6s running Filmicpro, as well as an Alexa cinema cam, and then printed the final edit onto Kodak film, which really gives TFP a dense and rich look. This is my own personal answer to the stylings of Spring Breakers, another fulked up film that turned me off, unlike TFP, which made me perk up and enjoy the images and story.
Read the full review here.

The Master

Such a tough film to unpack, but boy is it worth the effort. I can completely understand why PTA seems to be a director that cinephiles either love or don't care for. He really doesn't cut the audience any slack. Rather he grabs them by the neck and makes them decide one way or the other how they feel. His characters are written in a very challenging way, and The Master may just be the greatest example of that. It is not easy to get a hold of either the intentions or motivations of Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd. Quell is such an interesting character. Certainly one that is searching, but one that would on the surface seem unlikely to fall prey to the religion being crafted by Dodd. He is a free spirit whose personality would seem to be unwilling to allow itself to be penned up by such a rigid lifestyle. He does allow himself to be penned up though, even if it is only for a time. Does he see Dodd as a father figure? Does he love the feeling of belonging that can come from organized religion? Is he just biding his time until he sees a train that he would rather jump on? Probably a little of all of those at different times. I do think he grows to love Dodd. Much of that probably has to do with the way Dodd feels about him. It usually becomes very easy for us to fall in love with people who are showing us love.
Read the full review here.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Maybe I need to revisit The Master, but I found it boringly overrated. Great performances, looks gorgeous, but ultimately hollow for me.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

mark f

The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017)

Impoverished, childlike Bria Vinaite treats daughter Brooklynn Prince to a birthday party with her friend Valeria Cotto near Disney World in Florida.
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
Neither film made mark f's ballot.

Maybe I need to revisit The Master, but I fond it boringly overrated. Great performances, looks gorgeous, but ultimately hollow for me.
I had the same reaction.

It was similar to the reaction I've had to a lot of PTA films, but I felt like it was missing the things that usually would (or could) redeem them for me.

The best description I've ever come up with for PTA in general is that it feels like he writes biographies for fictional people. Which is kind of cool, except, as with actual biographies, it means they don't have to make sense or form a narrative, necessarily.

Wow, really surprised to see The Florida Project so high. I haven't seen it, but I wasn't expecting it to have such good "legs".

The Master is a film I've been meaning to rewatch. I saw it a while ago, and by all accounts, it should be my cup of tea. I'm a PTA fan, Philip Seymour Hoffman is arguably my favorite recent actor, I love films about cults and complex character studies... and yet, it didn't click with me as much as I expected. I still liked it quite a bit and still thought it was extremely well crafted, but it's not something that stuck with me. Go figure.

Here's where I'm at, including the chances for the rest of my list...

Seen: 66/88

My ballot:  
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I said yesterday that there's only one Paul Thomas Anderson movie that I like and it's not Phantom Thread. Well, it's not The Master either. Love the performances, but don't like the movie despite having seen it a handful of times.

I've seen The Florida Project twice and I think it's a really well made movie. I like it, but I don't love it and I don't think I ever will so it was never a contender for my ballot.

Seen: 51/88
My Ballot:
7. Joker (#60)
8. Django Unchained (#27)
11. The Man From Nowhere (#95)
14. Inside Out (#59)
20. Jojo Rabbit (#89)
25. Kitbull (One Pointer)

Reviews in My 2010s Countdown Preparation Thread

My Most Recent Review For The Master:

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

Date Watched: 11/08/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Joaquin Phoenix
Rewatch: Yes.

Paul Thomas Anderson seems to like making long, slow-ass movies about s***ty people who do s***ty things to each other - and compose them in gorgeous colors and cast them with some of the best actors Hollywood has to offer (Adam Sandler and Marky Mark aside).

The Master takes that and turns it up to 11. Holy **** is this movie beautiful to look at and holy **** does it seem to never f***ing end. The performances are amazingly good, but I just don't give a **** about anything that actually happens and this bizarre love story isn't so much a slow burn as it is a torturous endurance test.

I'm a bit torn on how to rate it. On the one hand, what it does well it does extremely well, but on the other, if I never watch it again it'll be too soon. Guess I'll put it smack dab in the middle.

My Most Recent Review For The Florida Project:

The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017)

I first watched this several years ago for a Hall of Fame. I came away feeling a bit conflicted about it and tonight's viewing was much the same. Its central character, Halley, is not exactly a good person. She's selfish, she steals, she tries to scam people, she rude, she's ignorant, and she's frankly pretty trashy. My initial impulse is to hate her - and to rather dislike her unruly nuisance of a child. But as I kept watching I started to feel a little bit sympathetic to her. She is trashy, there's no doubt about that, but I also get a sense that her behavior is the result of coming from poor circumstances, not having a necessary support system, and what had to have been a teenaged pregnancy. The end result is that Halley is suffering from a bit of arrested development, at least in terms of emotional maturity. I also started to feel a lot of sympathy for the children, obnoxious though they might be, as they faced hardships they could neither control nor truly understand. And in these roles both Bria Vinaite as Halley and Brooklynn Prince as Moonee did really wonderful jobs of making these characters feel real - albeit really trashy, but real. And of course Willem Dafoe is wonderful as motel manager Bobby, dealing with the day-to-day demands and abuses of the tenants, while still looking out for their interests and never really turning a judgmental eye on them. I also thought it was really fitting that all this takes place so close to that Magic Kingdom - a place that promises happiness.

In the end though, as good as I think this movie is and as much as it does well, I have far more respect for it than I do actual fondness so it will not be getting my vote.

Paul Thomas Anderson, with the 1-2 punch in two consecutive days, joins the list of directors with two or more entries. Like I said yesterday, if Inherent Vice somehow makes it, he would've placed all three of his eligible films in, but that seems highly unlikely... or is it?

(note: I haven't seen Inherent Vice)

The Florida Project was #5 on my ballot. It effortlessly captures the joy and enthusiasm of being a child, all the while never shying away from showing what the world around them is actually like. This is one of my favorite things to see in movies, and it's a shame that it's hard to come across movies like this. What makes so many scenes in this film so fascinating is that the kids don't even understand the danger of what goes on around them.

I've seen The Master and, though I enjoyed it, I felt a lot of it went over my head. It's due for a rewatch.

Updated ballot:

2. Holy Motors (#51)
4. Moonlight (#62)
5. The Florida Project (#14)
6. Inside Llewyn Davis (#22)
10. Burning (#35)
12. Take Shelter (#67)
13. Certified Copy (#84)
14. Under the Skin (#54)
20. A Separation (#90)
21. It's Such a Beautiful Day (#16)
23. Hereditary (#96)

Florida Project was my number 9. Dafoe was the man in it.

Up to 12 that made it now.

1. The Descendants (2011)
3. Manchester by the Sea (2016)
7. Gravity (2013)
9. The Florida Project (2017)
10. Phantom Thread (2017)
11. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
12. Take Shelter (2011)
13. Melancholia (2011)
15. The Avengers (2012)
18. 1917 (2019)
20. Inception (2010)
24. Shoplifters (2018)

That's my second two-fer of the list, the last one being back in the low 90s with Anomalisa and The VVitch.
The Master was my number 3 (completing the the nine films in my top 10 that will be showing up) and The Florida Project was my #25.

Sean Baker has a way to having a very humanistic view to those, often flawed individuals, living on the outskirts of society. I may actually like Tangerine more, but it's close, and I sensed that one didn't have a chance to make it but this one might so I decided to throw my one point its way. Maybe I should have thrown those few points to First Cow instead of Meek's Cutoff on similar grounds - very similar in terms of the amount I liked them, but one had a better chance of making it (though at the beginning, I will wouldn't have written off Meek's Cutoff). Which concludes the extent to which I do strategic voting.

The Master is an elusive one and I mostly write these things up on my phone, but I think the best way to summarize a number of the themes is, what does society owe to the marginalized, to the constant screw-ups? What is society, and how much do we yield to it. What are we yielding to? Do we have some basic need to yield to something, or someone? Or in Quell's case, the idea of someone (he was also clearly in love with the idea of a woman at one point and didn't really have anything in common with her). How much do we rewrite ourselves for the acceptance of those people?
Also love the complete lack of sense of time and passage of time during his drunken periods.

I did not realize the connection between the two movies until I wrote it out, but tonally they do feel very different.

Got one guaranteed one left on my ballot (though it's very far down). Got two dark horses that at this point would be kind of jaw dropping to still make it on here over some of the other films, but I was also quite surprised how high It's Such a Beautiful Day managed to land.

My Ballot  

And back to 'seen both, voted for neither' for me. The Florida Project is ok but it was never in contention for a place on my personal ballot and imo this is waaay too high for it. Of the two I much prefer The Master and that one certainly was in contention for a ballot berth but it had been too long since I'd seen it and sadly it didn't get an opportunity for a revisit.

Seen: 70/88 (Own: 40/88)
My ballot:  


terrible, 0/5, not enough puppies.

I got my fifth point!

Hadn't seen The Florida Project.

I thought the Master was good. But the 25 films on my list (and honorable mentions) are all very good, so it didn't make the cut.

I'm so proud of this forum for showing, The Florida Project the recognition it deserves. My #1 & perhaps the most human film ever directed

The Florida Project
Sean Baker's The Florida Project is an innovative film, brilliantly bringing the audience into the lives of the poor American. This ain't a blue collar film, or one of the working class, this film portrays the no collar. A minor, but aesthetically familiar, subgroup of American culture. However the film is effectively portrayed through a lens that's the any person has seen life through, regardless of class, the innocent perspective of a young child. There's no overbearing message the film tries to push on the audience, but there's a key lesson to take away on simplifying people. Moonee's mom, Halley, really fits the look of an irresponsible impoverished single mother who whores herself out. And she is, she's hotheaded, self-centered entitled, petty,a poor role model, and edges negligent. On the other hand she's social, appreciative, a hustler, and she cares about those close to her. She's no supermom but it's clear that she loves her daughter. Baker doesn't care about the poor decisions Halley undoubtedly made to get in this position, or the unfair outstanding circumstances in her life. The film looks at none of this, it's truly just a glimpse in the life of Halley and her daughter through a hot Florida summer.

Brilliantly the film puts as much focus, and same style, on the significant moments and the daily events surrounding the summer. A house burning down and 3 kids getting ice cream gets the same attention, and focus on detail. It's shot- well like, life itself. No unnecessary dramatization. Similarly Baker didn't follow a trend that's common in realism works like this one. The film covers many dark topics and their consequences, but none of these are glamorized with graphic on screen sex, or abuse, or violence. It's all in the implications, and the subtle human emotion surrounding these events.

I reckon most audience members relate most to Bobby, brilliantly portrayed by WIlliam Dafoe, since most audience members are Bobby. A caring observer with only so much power. Baker doesn't ask you to judge, or critique, or understand the characters. Just like Bobby this film drags you in to the lives of these characters as an observer, who will smile, laugh, and maybe cry with them. And just when you feel like you've known these people your whole life, poof their gone, their story will continue out of your sight (Just like with Bobby).

A uniquely human piece, that accomplishes so much while doing so little.

The Master is one I was very excited for during it's release time, but fell a little flat to me. I'm not as much of a PTA admirer as others, and this one just felt like it was balancing between being dry & forced. Joaquin carried the show as much as he could, but ultimately it left a bland taste.

My List:
1. The Florida Project (2017)
2. Interstellar (2014)
4. True Grit (2010)
6. Hereditary (2018)
10. Drive (2011)
11. Uncut Gems (2019)
12. The Lighthouse (2019)
13. The Act of Killing (2012)
18. Midnight in Paris (2011)
19. Django Unchained (2012)
20. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
25. Death at a Funeral (2010) [1 pter]

I expect one more film from my list to make the final cut, but that's much more than I anticipated when I submitted
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it

Also, will clues stop in top 10? Hopefully to keep the suspense.
I might stop the clues after tomorrow since most of us likely have a good idea of which films will make the top 10.

Sean Baker's good--I like both The Florida Project and Tangerine (which I assume will not appear). Looking forward to Red Rocket.

The Master is one of those PTA father-son films that I respect but don't embrace.

No votes from me.

The Florida Project is a great film and was a late cut for me. It would have been top 50 for sure. I like what I've seen by Sean Baker so far - although haven't watched Red Rocket yet. Any good?

I have The Master on my list. Everything PTA does is quality in my books (at least so far) and could have slipped in all three of his from the decade but landed on The Master. I also haven't seen Licorice Pizza yet. Any good?

I posted earlier in this thread I need to catch up and watch more movies from this decade or else my 2020s top 25 is going to be weak.

3. The Act of Killing (2012)
4. Holy Motors (2012)
6. Shoplifters (2018)
8. Under the Skin (2014)
9. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
11. The Master (2012)
12. Joker (2019)
14. The Turin Horse (2011)
17. Birdman (2014)
18. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
19. It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
22. Moonlight (2016)
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
Maybe I need to revisit The Master, but I found it boringly overrated. Great performances, looks gorgeous, but ultimately hollow for me.
Fully the same here...
"Population don't imitate art, population imitate bad television." W.A.
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." M.T.