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Past Films

The Florida Project

  • Starring: Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince
  • Director: Sean Baker
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 115 min.

Six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget motel managed by Bobby (Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion. Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure as she and her ragtag playmates—including Jancey, a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee’s best friend—fearlessly explore the utterly unique world into which they’ve been thrown. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.

"It’s that honesty that makes The Florida Project so powerful. This is a remarkable film, one of the best of the year. "
- Brian Tallerico,
"This is a near-perfect film, and a heightening in every way of everything that was great about Baker’s last movie. "
- Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine (Vulture)
"While minimal on plot, the film digs in its nails on the day-to-day struggles of poor people in America. "
- Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian
"The Florida Project further cements Baker’s status as one of the most innovative American directors working today, but he’s also an essential advocate for the stories this country often doesn’t get to see. "
- Eric Kohn, indieWIRE
"The Florida Project is sublime: a blast of life, of celebratory highs and lamentable lows, on the outer economic edges of the Sunshine State."
- A.A. Dowd, AV Club
"A fabulous mosaic of one particular pocket of America's invisible homeless population - families living hand-to-mouth in motels originally designed to catch the tourist overspill from the flashy theme-park resorts across town."
- David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"The Florida Project won’t let us look away. Nor, given its brilliance, would we want to. Instead, we laugh, we watch silently, and we’re challenged to stop simplifying people's lives so we can offer easy theoretical answers. "
- Alissa Wilkinson, Vox