It’s rare lately that I find myself drawn to a movie past its viewing. But The Florida Project with Willem Dafoe broke the drought. Here’s what one critic said: “The Florida Project,” Sean Baker’s risky and revelatory new film, avoids the traps of condescension and prurience that ensnare too many well-meaning movies about poverty in America.
The acting was superb.The Director, Sean Baker, found at least one actor in the local Walmart store. He relied mostly on local talent. Willem Dafoe is the only known actor, but it was the brilliance of the young Brooklynn Prince as Moonee who ruled the roost. To give you a glimpse, you see her saying to her young co-star, in an outtake, preparing for the last scenes, ‘Let me be by myself for now because I have to think of something really sad.’ I witnessed mastery – the writing so true to the child’s mind – at once, achingly innocent and worldly. And the honest performance of a child so at one with her emotions that after the last scene, abiding adults whisked her off to call her mom so she could get grounded again.
The only drawback to witnessing this exquisite film is that for a big swath of our society it is not fiction.