The Florida Project movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Sean Baker’s film feels very much like a character and situation study, both heartbreakingly real, gritty and bold. The Florida Project is an incredible drama about poverty often seen through the bright eyes of young children.


The daily life of a mischievous 6-year-old girl living with her poor mother and getting into trouble with her playmates, set over a summer in the shadows of Walt Disney World.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Sean Baker
Cast: Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Rivera, Valeria Cotto, Aiden Malik
Writer: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Release Date (Australia): 6 October 2017
Runtime: 111 minutes/1h 51m
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Language: English, Spanish, Portuguese

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

Thematic content includes poverty, prostitution and a scene in which a young child learns she is being taken away to foster care.

Violence (M)

The film contains a scene of violence in which a woman is briefly beaten by another woman. The woman is depicted with bruises and a black eye.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film contains frequent use of the word “f**k”, and use of the words “s**t”, “bitch” and “**shole”.

Drug Use (PG)

The film contains a verbal reference to “smoking a blunt” and a scene in which a woman is gifted a bag of marijuana.

Nudity (PG)

An elderly woman’s upper breasts are viewed as she sunbathes.

Sex (M)

The film contains several verbal sexual references and crude sexual gestures.

mpaa rating

R (for language throughout, disturbing behavior, sexual references and some drug material)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Even looking at it through the young eyes of a young child and her mischievous friends, Sean Baker’s study of living in poverty at a young age is powerful, gritty and deeply affecting, yet still childish and bright. The Florida Project is an unforgettable drama pitching you under the shadows of Disney in the shoes of a 6-year-old girl named Mooney, played stunningly and absolutely perfectly by young child actor Brooklynn Prince. She is a little rascal who gets up to mischief with her friends while her awful parent of a single mother raises her, trying to make ends meet while living in the motel.

To quickly get to the point, The Florida Project is a film that leaves you speechless, because there’s a stress-load of stuff to talk about and it’s hard to do so without giving away some plot points you don’t want to hear until after you’ve seen the film. There’s no story to find here, it’s just a depiction of poor families paying and living in a motel. You can definitely locate multiple segments that take their time to push onto the next, but this movie is one of those rare gems that just forces comfortably-living people (such as the ones heading into Walt Disney World) to feel thankful for the environments they are living in, as it’s nothing to take for granted. But all of this is often seen through the perspective of younglings who see everything as nice and colourful.

This movie’s goal is to make you care for the children in this situation, and it succeeds in that, but not without giving us time to see that they can be little brats and the parents are terrible when it comes to discipline. This is where the truly genius performance from Willem Dafoe comes in, as his character is easily the most likeable and he feels like more than just a supporting role. Overall, The Florida Project is worth watching for the subject matter, performances and an ending that’s emotionally-breathtaking and draining. You have been warned.

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