Magic Castle of Innocent Eyes: “The Florida Project”

Release Date:Oct/6/2017
DirectorSean Baker
CastWillem Dafoe、Brooklynn Prince、Valeria Cotto 、Bria Vinaite、Christopher Rivera 
Viola's Rating:8.7

Two years ago in 2015, Director Sean Baker bared the “behind-the-scene” life around Hollywood area with his iphone 5s feature film “Tangerine”. Not only the plot aroused a bunch of awareness of how people who work at Hollywood but not part of the industry’s lives are like, but also the breakthrough shooting method brought attention to the film itself. This time, Baker discloses the reality next to the dream land “Disney World” in his latest flick “The Florida Project”, which was released in a limited release on October 6, 2017.

Set over one summer, the motion picture follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she sets out on adventures and stirs up mischief with her ragtag friends and bonds with her caring but rebellious young mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World, a cheap purple motel next to the amusement park called “The Magic Castle”.
As purple is one of the most dreamlike colors in the world. The motel which the story surrounds by is painted purple, and its façade is a castle indeed. Ironically enough, living at such motel next to the Disney World are a group of people who struggle with hard times. Due to the ambience and theme that Disney gives the area, all the other motels and shops nearby are pretty bright and colorful, which try to deliver a happy message while the locals don’t really get to encounter what the tourists experience, but only endure the bitter part of it.
Director Sean Baker is famed for directing and writing for “Starlet” and “Tangerine”, and along with the later one, “The Florida Project” talks about how reality hits poor people in the US. Similar to Oscar nominated writer and director Taylor Sheridan’s Frontier Trilogy, Baker’s interest and passion focusing on outcasts’ stories touch a lot of audience’s hearts by his storytelling and the beautiful cinematography his movies present.

Even though the protagonist of “The Florida Project” is the 6-year-old Moonee, since it’s most of the actors and actress’ first time acting in a picture, it’s impossible for moviegoers to not recognize Oscar nominated Willem Dafoe, the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man”, who also dubbed in “Finding Nemo” and played in “Platoon”. Usually starring serious or villainous roles in feature films, Dafoe builds up friendship beyond generations with the children inside and outside “The Florida Project”, and has received accolades that he’s highly possible to be nominated as supporting actor at the Oscars.
Telling a sad story through kids’ innocent eyes, “The Florida Project” shows the carefree and hard situation at extended-stay motels, and according to DJ Drake, “it’s the best movie you will see this year.” The laughter and tears in the film take its audience to an adventure to the magic castle and enjoy the summer with Moonee.
Picture Credit: IMDb


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