After a disappointing round of Oscar-nominated movies, I fell in love with the Florida Project.
Lady Bird was a “meh” for me. It felt very much like a been there, done that before type of movie. Dunkirk was visually appealing. but I ended up liking the side stories more than the central one. Something about the main characters, when the movie ended, left me feeling less than satisfied.
Many movies like The Big Sick, Get Out and Wonder Woman were enjoyable, solid films with “Oh wow!” moments, but didn’t live up to all the hype I’d heard before viewing. Even Logan and The Shape of Water, both which I truly enjoyed and ranked high on my list, couldn’t keep pace with the deceptive simplicity of The Florida Project.
Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) lives with her mom in a cheap hotel room near Disney. The film follows the six-year-old as she and her friends survive and thrive under the less than adequate care of those around her. Prince’s performance is brilliant. She is mischievous, sweet, and downright mean. Her character shows how, while still innocent and good, her environment has already left scars.
The movie is wonderful in its complex character portrayal. Viewers don’t dislike Moonee’s mom Halley (Bria Vinaite). She is most definitely flawed, but loves her daughter and tries. Really tries sometimes, while leaving Moonee to fend for herself most other days.
Willem Dafoe plays the manager who has his own problems, but works hard to protect the raggedy band of children around him. The end scene, which I can’t give away, leaves the viewer wondering the fate of all those involved.
Just finished watching The Titan on Netflix. What can I say about it? Meh. It wasn’t bad. I stayed awake for the entire movie, which is good. But it lacked a gritty realism of a dystopian world. It also needed more depth and discussion about what was going on outside the small utopian military base where former Air Force fighter pilot Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington) is stationed.
Janssen, along with other recruits, have all agreed to become the first humans capable of living under the harsh condition and inhospitable atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. The military base is beautiful and in the middle of a gorgeous mountain and lake setting. It doesn’t seem like anything destructive has EVER happened there, and after a brief “the world is ending” announcement, and Janssen’s statement “Too bad we can’t save it,” the viewers witness little to none of the chaos supposedly exploding outside this pristine oasis.
As a viewer, I had a lot of unanswered questions. For example: If science has progressed to the point of altering human DNA, why can’t they create a closed biosphere on earth or at least invest in some hydroponics? The set-up of the movie seemed too contrived and the answers provided too simplistic.
Then there are the changes to Janssen. There are drugs, strenuous activities and surgery. Of course, thing go bad, but the movie never really gets exciting or interesting or scary. I kept waiting for a pay out that never came. The volunteers, including Janssen change. I get it, but I never really care.
His wife, Dr. Abi Janssen (Taylor Schilling) does a wonderful job in her role, but she wears white for almost the entire movie. The symbol is a little heavy handed. She’s also a doctor, something I didn’t pick up on until half way through the movie when she goes from a loving, doting wife to a skilled researcher with lab access trying to uncover what the military is doing to her husband.
So in the end…Janssen survives but does he really live?
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