I probably could write a novel about movies and why they mean so much to me. But until then, I’m just going to do a quick review of a movie I saw last Saturday called, The Florida Project.
First, the set up: I had the pleasure of seeing this film with my boyfriend, at a place that I’ve avoided for some time, the SLC. I absolutely love the on campus theater and the lounge that accompanies it, but have had so many great memories there that I was hesitant to return because I didn’t want those memories to be tainted with a bad experience post-grad. Simply put, I didn’t want to feel out of place. I am very happy to say that my first experience going back as a non-college student was nothing short of phenomenal. TBH it made me tear up a bit while walking out, because it just made me miss college so much. I miss being surrounded by people that are so passionate and focused on education and it was definitely a bittersweet feeling. I would also like to point out that I paid $7.75 for a movie ticket, soda and a box of bunch-a-crunch. If you’re located in Tallahassee and haven’t taken advantage of the great selection and prices at the SLC you are missing out.
Second, the movie: The Florida Project, like those college feelings mentioned above, sticks with you. I’m not going to be a prestigious film critic about it, walking out of the movie theater I was confused. I had to process this movie and reading the thoughts of Sean Baker, credited with directing, writing and editing the film, helped to shape my understanding of the movie and what he was trying to accomplish. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone that hasn’t seen it yet, so I’ll avoid discussing the plot on here, but I would like to focus on a couple of points, the cinematography and the acting. This is a beautiful film. The colors are so vivid, and the brightly colored buildings and clothing serve as a perfect contrast to the bleak story being told. If you are someone that loves the look of movies, this is definitely a film to add to you watch list. The Florida Project received a single oscar nomination for best supporting actor and while Mr. Dafoe is brilliant in the role of a stern yet caring motel manager, the real stand out is Brooklynn Prince. It’s always hard to say “oh this kid has a bright future in acting” because as we’ve seen there are plenty of children actors who quickly fade out. I can confidently say; however, that Brooklynn was phenomenal portraying Moonee, and there is one scene that comes to mind (no spoilers!) that just evokes so much emotion from such a young actor and that’s probably what stuck with me the most.
Similar movies: Moonlight. While the themes of both films differ, the style and pace are very similar so if you liked Moonlight I would highly recommend The Florida Project.
While I’ve seen a lot of movies and have a lot of opinions, this was my first time ever sitting down to write an actual review, so if you have anything different that you’d like me to hit on in future reviews, please let me know!
*Photo credits: A24/ Courtesy Everett Collection