THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2017)

dir. Sean Baker. Halley (Bria Vinaite) is a young single mother, looking after her six year old daughter Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), living in a motel in Florida, close to the Walt Disney World amusement parks. Moonee is on school holidays, and spends her days exploring her surroundings with other children who live in the motel. Her mother Halley, does her best to create a positive environment for Moonee, which becomes increasingly challenging. Almost entirely told from the perspective of Moonee, we watch her spend her days hustling for ice cream money, running errands to collect free food for her mother, and getting in the way of exasperated, but protective motel manager, Bobby (Willem Dafoe). The majority of the movie is spent watching heartbreakingly sweet (most of the time) Moonee, as the adult world encroaches on her world of adventures and friendship. The candy coloured setting is also remarkable, a different pallet to Sean Baker’s previous film TANGERINE (2015), and even more distinctive. One of the best ambiguous endings to a movie in a long time.