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Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Very Good The Florida Project is the kind of small, insightful, and fascinating film that will be beloved by art house audiences...and may generate some Oscar buzz. Not a coming-of-age story but one about the loss of innocence, this is one of the most honest films about young childhood to reach theaters in a several years.
Roger EbertFull Review Excellent It is one of those films that defies its plot description through its execution. It is a film of small notes that combine to form something major, the kind of movie that sneaks up on you and sticks with you. ...it achieves much of its brilliance through specificity.
Rolling StoneFull Review Very Good ...a film that's as hilarious and heartbreaking as it is unclassifiable. ...one of the best and most provocative films ever made about childhood... ...blending The Little Rascals with his own brand of indie neo-realism, cuts a direct path to the heart.
Slant MagazineFull Review Very Good It invests the minutia of the down-and-out lives inside a budget motel with a bittersweet energy and significance.
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Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney
Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning
turn) and her rag-tag gang of friends. Moonee and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria
Vinaite, another major discovery) live week to week at "The Magic Castle," a
motel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides
deep reservoir of kindness and compassion.
Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no
trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons
with mischief and grand adventure as she and her playmates-including Jancey,
a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee's best friend-fearlessly
explore the utterly unique world into which they've been thrown. Unbeknownst to
Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the struggle and sacrifice
of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in
provide for her daughter.