The big hit of the Cannes Film Fest, The Florida Project, directed by Sean Baker, will be distributed by A24 and released right into the sweet spot of Oscar season, October 6, 2017. Our friend Tomris Laffly highly praised this work and we trust what she has to say:
And now he delivers perhaps his best film to date, and a strong early contender for those year-end “Best of” lists, about a community of Florida people on the verge of homelessness and below the poverty line. They live in a decently kept, bright purple motel, run by the fatherly, no-nonsense Bobby (Willem Dafoe). But it’s all about the young, explosive and beautifully chaotic kid Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) in the end. Her every move, often accompanied by her buddies Jancey (Valeria Cotto) and Scooty (Christopher Rivera), is buoyant. Raised by her young mother Halley (Bria Vinaite), Moonee’s days are spent getting into mostly innocent but sometimes dangerous trouble with her partners-in-crime and having loud, very loud, unadulterated fun. Her world is almost brutally stationed amid highways, abandoned buildings and strip malls, yet it’s also a stone’s throw from “the happiest place on Earth.” You might think this Disneyworld reference is a heavy-handed metaphor, but trust Baker a bit here: He lets this proximity to the Magic Kingdom speak for itself and steers clear of signposting its dramatic weight and necessity. The cast is absolutely terrific, so much that young Prince, who delivers a knockout performance, could become an awards-season contender with the right distributor. But there is a lot of time for awards talk. For now, I will take comfort in knowing that we have a director who thoroughly understands and is willing to deeply engage with the social realism of today’s America, one film at a time. The Florida Project is his indirect answer to last year’s terrific Palme d’Or-winner I, Daniel Blake, directed by Ken Loach. This is a film you will hear about and won’t want to miss.