The Florida Project: Drakes favourite film this year is amazing

THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Sean Baker). 115 minutes. Opens Friday (October 13). See listing. Rating: NNNNNDrake took to Instagram during TIFF,.


THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Sean Baker). 115 minutes. Opens Friday (October 13). See listing. Rating: NNNNN

Drake took to Instagram during TIFF, posting an image from The Florida Project and announcing to his confused fans: The best movie you will see this year. I hate to dignify Drizzys attempt at being a film critic (or be a quote whore) but hes onto something.

Director Sean Baker bounces off his electrifying, iPhone-shot Tangerine with yet another intimate, emotional roller coaster about people on the margins. This time its the margins of Disney World.

Florida Project is what Walt Disney called his Orlando development, buying up cheap swamp land under secret business names before dumping dirt on top to erect Magic Kingdom. Not too far away, though seemingly worlds apart, is the Magic Castle, a cheap, pastel-coloured motel (shot in glorious 35 mm) run by Willem Dafoes Bobby. He plays at being a shrewd businessman, but thats regularly undone by his empathy and fatherly tendencies when dealing with the working-class people and, most importantly, their children who take up residency in his motel.

Bobby is often hovering in the background, or plain out of sight, in a story owned by six-year-old Moonee, played by Brooklynn Prince, an adorable child and brilliant discovery. Moonee and a rotating roster of friends find ways to make the most of their motel-strip environment: spitting on cars, gawking at topless bathers, curling up to horrified tourists or embarking on a perpetual hunt for ice cream.

All the while, Baker observes an intricate economy at work, where someones loss is always anothers gain. When kids find amusement, its usually a burden on the adults. When one child moving out of the motel sadly has to let his toys go due to the lack of the space in the car, the other kids have a field day. When Moonees young, reckless mother, Halley (Bria Vinaite) finds ways to be self-sufficient, theres a cost I wont reveal here.

And on the macro scale, theres Disney World raking in loads of cash. The whole film is about observing the downside.

The Florida Project is perceptive to the charm and strength of character you can find in humble places. We linger on small details and passing amusements, the ebb and flow of days that may seem aimless but actually build purposefully toward an emotional downpour and a challenge to our humanity.

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