• Guy Jeffries

The Florida Project


Director: Sean Baker.

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones.

Baker is renown for this subject matter and fans of his style should not be either surprised or disappointed by his fly-on-wall narrative of a Floridian motel which I can only imagine is located on the famous International Drive.

He gives us an insightful snapshot of the day-to-day happenings of a typical run-of-mill motel and the lives of the people who inhabit the premise; and these aren’t tourists. The story includes a number of diverse characters who are mostly long-term renters but it’s main focus is Bobby, the Motel Manager who deals with the constant needs and issues, played by Dafoe; and a rather turbulent single mother, Halley who does whatever to get by.

Interestingly, Bria Vinaite, who plays the unlikeable Halley was casted via her own Instagram account whilst having no prior acting experience, and she does a fine job not giving any blatant indication of her lack of experience. In fact, all the performances across the cast were good and having that rawness actually made it all the more believable.

And then there’s Dafoe’s attendance as the friendly, under-pressured motel manager who appears to be in a continual blight of trying to keep everyone happy whilst juggling owners expectations and his empathy for the residents. [Edit] but is it a role that warrants him an Academy Award? It’s certainly a little different and a step up from his recent work but sadly I can’t see it winning him the Oscar.

Rather slow indie movie with not much to go on. A lot of audiences are likely to fail to see the point, if there is one and is likely to end up as one of those arty types that gets a lot of the right attention for seemingly unknown reasons. Not that this is a criticism of either film, but it’s this year’s American Honey in terms of style and subject of American trailer trash society.

Running Time: 6

The Cast: 7

Performance: 7

Direction: 7

Story: 7

Script: 7

Creativity: 7

Soundtrack: 6

Job Description: 6

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

60% 6/10

#SeanBaker #WillemDafoe #BriaVinaite #BrooklynnPrince #ChristopherRivera #CalebLandryJones