The Florida Project: 2017’s Hidden Gem

No other year in recent history had as many great movies as 2017 did. The Best Picture Category of the Academy Awards contained and each had a legitimate case to take the award home. Since it was a really deep year, a few good movies were snubbed. I can talk about Blade Runner 2049 until I’m neon blue in the face but this post isn’t about that. In fact, it’s about a movie most people have never heard of before or thought they wouldn’t be interested in.

If I were to compile a list of 2017’s unsung movies, this would be #1. The Florida Project was the hidden gem of last year. While it did garner a lot of attention, it’s still underrated (obviously) due to the lack of love it received from the Academy.

The Florida Project is named after Disney’s 1960s mission to have a resort on the East Coast. Moonee, the main character of this movie, lives right outside of Disney World in a hotel named The Magic Kingdom. Although she’s only miles away from Disney, she’s never been. She lives with her unemployed teenage mother who comes up with quick-cash schemes in order to stay afloat. The reality of Moonee’s life is never apparent to her because she’s too preoccupied with setting out on her own adventures.

Reality versus fantasy is the main theme of this movie. The audience clearly sees that Moonee lives on the fringes of society but since the movie is seen through her eyes, there’s still a bit of beauty to it. Moonee’s innocence shines through, no matter how much of a menace she is. Every day she sets out to make the slums she inhabits her personal Magic Kingdom.

Although you can’t help but be sad to Moonee, there’s a certain beauty to this movie. The bright colors make the scenery majestic, although it’s all poverty-stricken ruins. The camera work is fantastic. The majority of the movie is from Moonee’s point of view, so you’re forced to focus on Moonee’s childish shenanigans instead of the sad, worn out faces of the adults. Even with the standout performances of Brooklynn Prince (Moonee) and Willem Dafoe(Bobby), this movie maintains an element of authenticity by using first-time actors and real-life extras. The Florida Project is not only about Moonee, but the forgotten people who live right outside the most magical place on Earth.

The entire point of this post is to not only introduce you to The Florida Project but to alert you that it’s available to be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. Everyone has an Amazon Prime account (if you don’t, why not???) so head over there immediately to check out this movie. You won’t be disappointed.


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