Herald Sun - Hit - - UP STREAM -

Shot on a low bud­get with a (mostly) no-name cast, this beau­ti­ful, heart­break­ing and unas­sum­ingly ab­sorb­ing drama got lost in­side a bl­iz­zard of great re­leases last sum­mer. It was un­doubt­edly one of the best re­leases of 2017, and should be tracked down now you have the chance. The story un­folds over the first weeks of sum­mer in Or­lando, Florida, amid a ragged col­lec­tion of run­down bud­get mo­tels that flank the fa­mous Walt Dis­ney World theme park. At the iron­i­cally named Magic Cas­tle, pre­co­cious 6-year-old Moonee (Brook­lynn Prince, a truly as­ton­ish­ing per­for­mance from one so young) is be­ing raised to fend for her­self by her strug­gling sin­gle mother, Hal­ley (Bria

Vinalte). Keep­ing what passes for a pro­tec­tive eye in this ev­ery­one­for-them­selves part of the world is the prop­erty’s man­ager, Bobby (an Os­car-nom­i­nated Willem Dafoe). Your abid­ing mem­ory here will be that of lit­tle Moonee, still find­ing a way to hap­pily float through child­hood, even if the river ahead through life looks like run­ning dry.

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