‘The Florida Project’ Trailer Reveals Sean Baker’s Moving ‘Tangerine’ Follow-Up

A24 has released the first trailer for The Florida Project, the highly anticipated new film from Tangerine filmmaker Sean Baker. Written by Baker and Chris Bergoch, the film takes place on a stretch of highway just outside of Disney World and follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) over the course of a single summer as the two live week-to-week at a budget motel called “The Magic Castle.” Willem Dafoe stars as the motel’s manager, who strikes a kinship with Moonee and begins to feel responsible for Halley’s well-being.

Tangerine was a crackerjack debut from Baker—a hilarious, moving, gorgeous, and unique comedy shot entirely on an iPhone and featuring characters we rarely see onscreen. The Florida Project debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to wildly positive reviews, and indeed this trailer showcases a terrific follow-up feature. Baker showed a knack for getting to the root of humanity in each of his Tangerine characters, and focusing on low-income children in Orlando, a city where young ones are surrounded by imagery of “Disney Magic”, seems to be an inspired choice. The awards campaigns whispers have already begun for this one, especially with regards to Dafoe’s performance, and this trailer confirms The Florida Project is a must-see.

Check out the Florida Project trailer below and click here to ready Greg’s review from Cannes. The film also stars Valeria Cotto and opens in theaters on October 6th.

Here’s the official synopsis for The Florida Project:

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.

 

Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure as she and her ragtag playmates—including Jancey, a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee’s best friend—fearlessly explore the utterly unique world into which they’ve been thrown. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.

 

With The Florida Project, Sean Baker gives life and a voice to a community rarely seen on screen. Through the winsome eyes and pained glances of Moonee, Halley, and Bobby, Baker has created a spellbinding and transformative portrait of contemporary lives lived in the margins that are otherwise too easily forgotten. The Florida Project declares, boldly and proudly, that anywhere can be a Magic Kingdom – it just depends on how you see it.

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