When we last heard from writer/director Sean Baker, he’d blown up the independent film world with his modern masterpiece Tangerine, which is still on Netflix and if you haven’t seen it yet, run, don’t walk, to the nearest computer/television or whatever and watch it because it very well might change your whole damn life. He premiered his latest work, The Florida Project, at Cannes this past May, where it was quickly snatched up by the good folks at A24 and given a release worth of his efforts and talents.
Today, they dropped the first trailer for the film, and grab a box of tissues, because you’re going to be crying your eyes out.
Oh god, is this going to be one of those Where the Wild Things Are-type movies that gets at the realness of childhood and does it all through beautiful cinematography and sad magic? It certainly looks like it, and we can’t wait for it. Willem Dafoe, as well! We miss him, even though he’s in loads of stuff every year, probably because roles like this don’t come around as often for him anymore for whatever stupid reason. He’s just wonderful. We’re also getting choice notes from films like Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Laurie Collyer’s Sherrybaby, so that’s great too. Needless to say, this is not a film to be missed.
Here’s a plot synopsis from the A24 website:
“Warm, winning, and gloriously alive, Sean Baker’s ‘The Florida Project’ is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood. Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, ‘The Florida Project’ follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning breakout turn) and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite, another major discovery) over the course of a single summer. The two live week to week at ‘The Magic Castle,’ a budget motel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion. Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure as she and her ragtag playmates—including Jancey, a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee’s best friend—fearlessly explore the utterly unique world into which they’ve been thrown. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.”
The Florida Project enters limited release on October 6.