The Florida Project

New York Times Critics' Pick
115 mins.
Directed by Sean Baker
R
2017
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Warm, winning, and gloriously alive, Sean Baker’s THE FLORIDA PROJECT is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood.

Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, The Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning breakout turn) and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite, another major discovery) over the course of a single summer.

The two live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget motel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion.