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Florida Project, The


Stars: Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Mela Murder, Aiden Malik

Director: Sean Baker

Virtually plotless, this is a portrait of kids making mischief in a short-stay motel complex in the shadow of Disney World. In particular, six-year-old Moonee (an excellent Prince) who is more or less in the care of her tattooed prostitute mother (Vinaite), who gives all and sundry the benefit of her four-letter opinion, but somehow just about manages her weekly rent, to the bemusement of Bobby (Dafoe), who combines managing the motel with being its jack of all trades.

The pool there looks nice and it's surprising it's not packed with kids and mums, although maybe it's because the aged Gloria (Sandy Kane) insists on sunbathing in the nude there, proving yet another headache for the beleaguered Bobby.

Finally Moonee and her friends go too far when they burn down a deserted row of houses on the outskirts of the complex. And her mother shrieks one profanity too many, causing the authorities to come calling. But that's not quite the end of a film which has its winning moments, but is hardly the award-winning material some have suggested.

Some of its scenes are held too long, to the point where's there's just nothing going on in the frame, and the incessant haranguing of the residents, all of whom seem to be short-fused and ill-tempered, does get a but wearing before the end.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Altitude. Technicolor.
111 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 27 Dec 2017