After being away from the game for far too long, and realising the only movies I’d been watching of late were average blockbusters, I decided to go back to what made me love blogging in the first place – little-known movies that I discovered through other blogs that are well loved. That’s what led me to watch The Florida Project (2017) the other night and re-kindled my love of movies in general.
Set not far away from the most magical place in the world, 6-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) lives with her Mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) at the Magic Castle Motel. It’s the summer holiday, and the movie revolves around the antics that Moonee and her friends get up to, as well as the struggles and hardships of Halley and the other adults living at the Motel.
I didn’t warm to this movie, to begin with. I took it at face value, and Moonee and her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera) really wound me up at first. My school had quite a few rough kids and it brought back a few memories. However, once I got a look into their lives and what they had to deal with every day, I fell in love with them. In fact, I feel like I could really relate to the manager of the Motel, Bobby (Willem Dafoe), who has to put up with the nonsense every single day, but still has a soft spot for them.
After Halley and her friend downstairs Ashley (Mela Murder) fell out big time, it was reasonably clear to me what direction the movie was going to go in, but it didn’t ease the heartbreak that I felt watching Moonee run. What an amazing little actress Brooklynn Prince is! I hope to see her again in more movies to come.
In fact, I was gutted when the movie ended for 2 reasons. The first obviously being because it was so emotional, but secondly, because I could spend all day at the Magic Castle Motel just watching these characters live their lives. I haven’t felt such a strong connection to a character for a long time.
This is the first movie by Sean Baker that I’ve seen, but I’ve been meaning to watch Tangerine (2015) for a while now and this might just be the push I needed. If you’re looking to watch something a little different than your average movie, I can’t recommend The Florida Project highly enough, it’s one of my favourites of 2017 for sure. Also – it really makes me want to go back to Florida! I haven’t been since I was a kid. 4.5 Magic Bands out of 5 from me – which Halley may or may not have stolen…