The colorfulness of this film is somewhat reminiscent of Wes Anderson, but the plot is more like a reality show.
The movie is set in Orlando, not far from Disney World in the “less desirable” part of the city. There are two hotels – one called Future World (with a scaled down rocket near the sign)
“The Florida Project” is a glimpse into the lives of three children (all around 7 or 8 years old): Moonee (who lives in Disney Village), Scooty (who lives in the apartment below Moonee), and Jancey (a new friend who lives at Future World) as they spend their summer vacation doing what children do – sharing an ice cream cone, sitting in the shade trying to keep cool, and occasionally wreaking havoc on the other tenants.
William Dafoe is the hotel manager, Bobby, who seems to have a soft spot for the children. There’s a cute scene in the movie trailer where Bobby allows Moonee and Scooty to share an ice cream cone inside the lobby until one of them drips some on the floor. Bobby isn’t always so tolerant of the tenants’ misdeeds and has to call the police when an unusual amount of visitors are seen coming from some of the rooms (drugs, prostitution, etc.).
Almost everyone can recall the carefree days of their youth and how they spent their summer vacation, but most of us didn’t get up to the shenanigans of these three kids (spoiler alert – a felony is committed in a very big way).
When discussing the film afterwards, my husband and I were hesitant to say we “enjoyed” the film, though there are certainly some enjoyable moments. At times you just want to slap Moonee’s mother as it’s difficult to sympathize with her.