The Florida Project - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

The Florida Project - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews Hot
Black BarneyBlack Barney   December 06, 2017  
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I've had to sleep on this a couple of nights before figuring out how to write or talk about this movie. Is it this year's Manchester By the Sea? ...maybe.

There's so much subject matter to dodge talking about since I would never want to colour anyone's viewing of this movie. i went in completely dark.

It's basically the story of what life is like for a kid growing up, living in discount inn(s) close to Disney World, where her mom can barely afford to live full-time. So it's a mix of what the kid(s) does to pass the time, and what the mom does to try and earn a living. That's a pretty clean description, but there are layers upon layers upon layers of things going on in this movie.

I'm sitting there watching the movie thinking, 'yeah, this is a pretty ugly and difficult movie" and then these occasional moments of bliss and huge happiness come out of nowhere, as do feelings of worry and concern. If you have a kid, the impact this movie will have is far greater, that's for sure. I didn't even realize this movie had its hooks in me until the very end. And what…an… end.

Willem Dafoe (i almost put Denis Leary, lol) is unbelievable as the hotel manager. There were times I wondering if he was supposed to be the main character. I would love to see him get a supporting actor nod.

But the KIDS in this movie... oh man.. the kid actors are the best I have ever seen. Brooklynn Prince as Moonee is outstanding and pulls off something I have never seen a child actor pull off before. To the point that I wondered if it was CGI. I was a total wreck in that pivotal scene.

This is one of those movies where some people question why they would want to see it. "I go to the movies to be entertained, that's all." There's nothing wrong with that type. But if you're like me, and you go to movies to escape and to feel, then don't miss this. At the end of the movie, the ENTIRE theatre stayed seated as the credits rolled. NO ONE got up. I have never seen that happen before. We all just sat there and tried to process what we were feeling. Who is this Sean Baker writer/director fella and how is so able to play my heartstrings like a master fiddler?

See it.




Heart rating: 5 stars


Brain rating: 4.5 stars




Posted: 19 Feb 2018 12:00 by Grudunza #263916
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Meant to say this sooner, Barney, but I’ve seen this twice now and you nailed it. It’s wonderful. So beautiful and poignant, and you learn things in bits and pieces that are really interesting and meaningful.
Posted: 19 Feb 2018 13:11 by Black Barney #263924
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it's stayed with me more than any other movie this year. I can't stop thinking about it. I have a friend at work that's going to see it and i'm dying to talk about it.

i've decided I think it's the best child actor performance I have ever seen. When her friend answers the door near the end and you see that the reality of her situation has finally dawned on her.... just tore me to absolute pieces.

And could Willem Dafoe be any better?! I think not

how is it the second time around, Grud? I've been toying with the idea of trying it again.
Posted: 19 Feb 2018 15:58 by engelstein #263952
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Agree. Weirdly, I wasn't enjoying the movie while it was happening ("enjoying" is a really bad word here - engaging with?). It's just so different than a 'standard' movie, that I kinda bounced off it at the time.

But it's truly stayed with me in the (now) weeks since we saw it, and I really admire it now.
Posted: 19 Feb 2018 17:09 by Black Barney #263962
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btw, the closing footage... i'm not sure they acquired the rights to film that, so I sort of think it was actually done on a hidden cam. You remember how different the film quality was for that segment?
Posted: 20 Feb 2018 03:10 by Grudunza #263980
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Black Barney wrote:
how is it the second time around, Grud? I've been toying with the idea of trying it again.

I watched it a few weeks ago, initially, and then again the other night with my older daughter. As Geoff describes, the first time was more just taking it in than enjoying it, and feeling almost voyeuristic to these people's lives. But I did also enjoy it then. That opening shot with the kids yelling to each other already told me something about what to expect, in a good way. The second time, though, I could really appreciate the way it's all put together. The juxtaposition of the kids and their adventurous life as it is... doesn't matter what circumstances a kid lives in, they tend to find the same ability to make wonder out of their world... and the grown-ups and their hassles and issues, very real but with similar kinds of escapes and distractions as the kids. And the intense colors, so stark against the more murky reality of things. The way moments of random levity and exploration by the kids bounces around everything else, like when they're making sounds into the fan. The helicopters constantly taking off in the background, and the contrasting image of tourist Disney with Orlando poverty.

Black Barney wrote:
btw, the closing footage... i'm not sure they acquired the rights to film that, so I sort of think it was actually done on a hidden cam. You remember how different the film quality was for that segment?

And yes, that ending felt odd the first time. I got it, but I was still like ehhh, okaaaay. The second time, it floored me. And sure, I assume it's all fantasy, regardless, with the scoring there (I think the only time in the whole movie there is any) and the different speed of the film. But man, so powerful. The great escape, which, sadly, may only ever be symbolic and fantasized as it is there.

It would be easy and even understandable to watch something like this and maybe have a condescending critical eye on that mother and the 6 year-old girl, swearing and spitting on cars and scamming people for ice cream and such. And yet, I really just appreciated knowing them a little. Understanding a little more about why they are the way they are, and maybe how they got to that place in life, and where the girl is likely headed. That's a wonderful thing to experience in a movie; almost a pure kind of empathy, gained from the camera lens shined on a few lives so skillfully. That girl is pretty obnoxious at the beginning, but then it opens you up to see what a beautiful little person she really is. And Willem Dafoe's character is the perfect adult mirror for all of that; our sympathetic go-between. So good.

And now I really need to see Tangerine, this writer/director's first film, which he apparently shot entirely on an iPhone. I remember hearing good things about that. Have you seen that one, Barney?
Posted: 20 Feb 2018 08:28 by Black Barney #263984
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i have not.

I also started the movie hating the daughter and growing a ton of empathy for her. The scene where she's eating all the breakfast she wants and is just lost in total happiness exploring all those foods.... any parent melts in that scene I think.

Good point about the scoring in the final scene. That was a heck of a bold choice. I can see them floating that idea in a meeting and everyone thinking its crazy but boy does it work.

the scene where the kids go play in those condos... that really took me back to being a kid and busting into homes under construction to play in them (we'd play Photon in them (a form of Laser Tag), and if we didn't have that....well, I guess we'd probably play with fire too. They dealt with the guilt those kids had afterwards brilliantly too.

sounds like it's even better the second time around. I'll need to do this again.