Director Sean Baker Brings Gritty Reality to Screens in “The Florida Project”

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

The Florida Project

Director Sean Baker employs the same raw but expressive style and use of amateur actors that worked so well in his tasty Tangerine. Here, he trades in the misfit-ridden streets of LA for the discount wonderland of residential hotels outside Disney World. “The Magic Castle” is a massive lavender flophouse diligently maintained by Bobby (Willem Dafoe), a general manager thanklessly responsible for tenants like young mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) and her delightfully foul-mouthed, troublemaking daughter, Moonee (Brooklynn Prince). Both Vinaite and Prince shine as their characters walk a fine line between legitimacy and something trashier— winning sympathy with charm as Moonee terrorizes gaudy gift shop parking lots and ice cream stands while Hallee hustles in increasingly desperate ways to make the rent. Both first-time actresses hold their own along side veteran Dafoe, who gives a memorably compassionate performance THE WORD: While there is sadness to be felt here, what Baker inspires is an appreciation for the messy business of life and all its imperfections. THE WHERE: Home Video

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Last modified: March 28, 2019