If you make movies with middle-class kids who have great adventures – often dangerous – they are fashionable, The Florida Project shows the other side of these days. Unlike Stranger Things and It – The Thing, the fun of the youngsters from The Florida Project is one that precludes the childish imagination from materializing on the screen, being only in the mind of boys and girls. This is because, surrounded by the poor climate of the area where they live, they rely only on banal, and often dangerous, activities such as entertainment.
The film is directed by Sean Baker, known for Tangerine, production of 2015 that was filmed completely with Iphones 5S, in several devices. Also like The Florida Project, Tangerine focuses on conflicts and dramas generated by poverty. The success of the old production generated expectation in relation to this new film of Baker.
The Florida Project tells the story of Moonee, played by Brooklynn Prince, a six-year-old girl who lives with Halley, played by Bria Vinaite, her rebellious and divorced young mother. They live in a low-class hotel called Magic Castle – a reference to the magical castle of Disneyworld, the famous park that is located very close to the hotel.
Magic Castle manager Bobby is played by Willem Dafoe, the only name actor in the film. Although this one looks hard, he is always willing to help the hotel residents (especially when, under the rules of the place, it is forbidden to use Magic Castle as a dwelling, even when Halley and his daughter have nowhere to live).
Everything gets even more complicated when we realize that Halley does not believe in discipline, never trying to educate his daughter. However, Baker does not blame him and implies that Halley is a victim of his own financial condition. This is not to say that the actions of mother and daughter can not go too far.
Imagine a child who is not afraid of authority, for Halley defends her from any scolding given by others, and is free to do whatever she wants. Moonee’s actions not only end up getting everyone away from the protagonists, but also makes Halley more rebellious than she already is. But it is so, then, that we realize that Halley, though mother, is still a child, one who has had no opportunity to grow.
With incredible performances and better than many famous actors, Baker is once again able to develop entanglements with actors based on people who are rarely seen in the movies. Similarly, Brooklynn Prince and Bria Vinaite show that even though they are not renowned in the middle (or experienced), they can match up with well-known actors, showing the talent that can still be found in alternative and independent media.
Perhaps not as original as Tangerine in how to use the cameras, Project Florida once again shows Baker’s detached style, which does not rely on close-ups or other traditional strategies to generate excitement in his films.
The Florida Project can be difficult to entertain. Even so, Baker effectively shows the lives of children struggling against everything and everyone in order to imagine their fantasy world.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)