Part 14: The Florida Project

“It’s only the second week of summer and there’s already been a dead fish in the pool.”- Bobby, played by Willem Dafoe, in The Florida Project



Best Supporting Actor

Basic Plot

Other than minimally supervised, ill-behaved children screaming?  Not entirely positive.  But there’s a bunch of people living in a Florida motel, located near Disney World, that is managed by Bobby.  It basically follows a screaming, poorly behaved kid and her posse during one summer and her mother who hasn’t learned how to parent and behave properly.

My Largely Irrelevant Commentary

In not-so-breaking-news from the Winter Olympics, the Dutch (those folks in the orange) continue their dominance of the sharp-edged sport of Speed Skating (long track).  It’s practically unfair for all the other athletes attempting to compete in those events!  They are rockstars back home in the Netherlands and it’s really fun to watch them skate.  Go Orange! And congrats to the Korean teen for grabbing a Bronze on his home ice.

In women’s hockey, Team USA is looking pretty sharp so far in the tournament.  They have a big match-up coming up against Canada – should be an awesome hockey game as these are the top 2 ranked teams in the world…and it will probably a sneak-peak at the gold medal match assuming the brackets play out that way.  Go Team USA!!

The Acting

Well I guess you can look at this in one of two ways.  If you are a fan of unsupervised screaming kids and think that’s a legitimate talent, then the acting is phenomenal in this film.  If that doesn’t strike your fancy, then you perhaps will take away from this movie what I did with respect to the acting, Willem Dafoe aside (i’ll get to that in a second), and that is…well…it was terrible and obnoxious.  The mother was irritating, the kids were real irritating, and the other folks in the film came across as just average.  I feel for the crew on this set because they had to listen to multiple takes of the loud and obnoxious kids.

Willem Dafoe is in this movie and he was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.  He plays the role of Bobby, the motel manager.  Now I typically enjoy Willem Dafoe in his various movies, so in all honesty, that’s the only reason I watched this one and the only reason I watched the whole thing (aside from the fact he was nominated in an acting category and I’ve decided to watch those in my little Oscar watching challenge).  He was the only good thing in this movie.  He did a nice job with his character, Bobby.  He was believable and likeable, at least.  That being said, I have no earthly idea why critics are raving about this being a career-best performance (in fact, he should be offended by that!). I don’t think the script was anywhere close to being good enough to push him to one of the top 5 performances of the year by an actor in a supporting role.

The Film

Oh boy.  What’s there really to say about this one.  It was not good.  My two dogs actually left the room because of the loud, yelling/screaming kids.  Sure, Reese and Montana are seniors and I’m sure the pitch had something to do with their irritation, but lucky for them they aren’t the ones blogging about Oscar noms cause this poor gal had to suffer through 1 hour and 51 minutes of not great filmmaking! The only moral to this story is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, with respect to the kid and her mother.

This one had really high ratings with reviews that included “incredibly powerful drama” and “a near perfect film”, so I certainly may have missed the point of the movie!  And hopefully others enjoyed it more than I did.  I could see where they were trying to go with it with respect to showing some empathy to poverty in our modern country, but it didn’t land for me at all.

Bottom line – Bad scripts = not great movies.  And it just goes to show that even a talent like Willem Dafoe can’t salvage a terrible story.  Not a good sign that watching this one has me looking forward to Blade Runner 2049 and Logan…lord help me.

3 thoughts on “Part 14: The Florida Project

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