The Florida Project
Movies starring children can veer between mawkish and improbable, but so far Sean Baker has focussed on making youthful friendship a central theme in his highly engaging, no-budget work (the much acclaimed Tangerine was shot on iPhones). This time, however, he has attracted substantial funding for his latest, The Florida Project, which will go down as one of the truly great movies about childhood. It stars two gifted if not precocious amateur six-year-olds, Brooklynn Prince and Valeria Cotto, who play best friends living below the poverty line, the former with her feckless mum (Bria Vinaite, also a gifted first-timer) in a tacky tourist motel managed by a caring but sharp-witted (and never better) Willem Dafoe. The girls’ infectious lust for life is free of moral and economic consequences, although these become apparent as the heady action careens joyously along. Simply wonderful.
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