Now available for streaming with Amazon Prime, “The Florida Project” might have been last year’s most underrated film. While the film did gather moderate award season buzz, it did not receive a best picture or best director nod at the Oscars.
There are a few distinct elements that make “The Florida Project” great. First, the movie is beautiful. The cinematography works to make you feel as if you are with the characters on their day to day adventures. The film’s bright color palette dances across the screen and has a way of making rundown real locations look fantastical. This is the film’s strongest element and what really works to set it apart. The movie almost watches as a documentary, which is a testament to both Sean Baker’s directing along with the acting.
The acting, which is the second best thing about the movie, is led by three newcomer child actors, and veteran Willem Dafoe. The casting features actors that perfectly fit the mold of their characters.
The third thing working to set “The Florida Project” apart from other films is the narrative thread. The movie has a way of moving forward, even if subtle, and showing rather than telling. The film’s conclusion provides an ending that will sit with the viewer long after the credits roll. “The Florida Project” was definitely one of last year’s freshest films and makes me excited for what director Sean Baker has to offer in the future.
If you are looking for a film that dazzles on both the visual and emotional fronts, “The Florida Project” is the perfect watch for you.
Jacob Hales, Features Writer
[Photo courtesy of Creative Commons]