Recommended. Movie Night!
The Florida Project
Willem Dafoe has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for for his new film, The Florida Project. I have been a Dafoe fan since seeing him in Platoon, and he doesn’t disappoint here as the manager (with a heart of gold) of a seedy motel in the shadow of Disney World, but in truth, the acting accolades must go to the child actors, and specifically, Brooklynn Prince. Prince plays 8 year-old Moonee who lives at the motel with her mother (wonderfully acted by Bria Vinaite) who obviously loves her daughter, but who herself is totally undisciplined and uses drugs, steals, lies and turns tricks to pay rent. Moonee and her group of rowdy kid motel friends get into trouble (some of it serious) but are able to an create the illusion of an idyllic childhood despite the very real problems that surround them. The movie was made on a shoestring budget and my understanding is that many in the cast are actual residents of the motel in which this was filmed. This is not a feel good movie by any stretch, but honesty, detail, phenomenal acting, and “feel” of the gritty strip just around the corner from the Magic Kingdom make it a must-see.