← Back to Reviews

The Florida Project

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.