THE FLORIDA PROJECT (MA15+)
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.