The Florida Project and 2018

Steven Spielberg’s film The Post, not yet out here in the Phoenix area where I am spending a week of vacation, is being described as “not the best movie that came out all year, but it’s the one people need to see the most–as in, right now,” according to Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic and many others.

That may be, but as the security system of our country continues to slowly be shredded (read this for a story about how Meals on Wheels is being impacted right now), I think writer and director Sean Baker’s film The Florida Project may be the film to see as we prepare for 2018.  He follows the stories of residents of several cheap motels on the road to Disney World.  Specifically, we get a glimpse into the lives of Halley (Bria Vinaite) and her precocious daughter Moonee (an amazing Brooklyn Prince).  Willem Dafoe earned a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination for his performance as the kind-hearted motel manager.  If you can see The Florida Project on the big screen (I saw it in a second run theater in Tempe) do it.  As my movie-going partner said, seeing it on the television screen would be too much like watching the news.  This heartbreaking feature at times felt like a documentary.  It’s brilliance is in its perspective.  How many stories about the vulnerable population of children get to be told by them?  As Trinity New Hope affordable housing, the nonprofit affiliated with Trinity Lutheran Church, continues to mature, we hope that we are truly seeing the children we are accompanying.

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