Willem Dafoe wrangles a wild child in stunning Florida Project trailer
From the colorful underbelly of Los Angeles to the neon commercial strips lining the Sunshine State, director Sean Baker often finds beauty in unconventional spaces. The first trailer for the Tangerine helmer’s latest film, The Florida Project, once again demonstrates his visually striking style.
The movie follows a band of impoverished children, fronted by Moonee (played with refreshing zest by newcomer Brooklynn Prince), who live at an Orlando motel just outside the gates of Disney World and spend lazy summer days exploring the off-limits grounds of their temporary home. “The man who lives in here gets arrested a lot,” Moonee says in the trailer. “These are the rooms we’re not supposed to go in, but let’s go anyway!”
While the children scam elders for loose change and peep at nude sunbathers, the adults — particularly Moonee’s penniless mother, Halley (Bria Vinaite), and motel manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe) — grapple with larger issues, all while attempting to maintain a positive environment for the future generation coming up under the motel’s roof.
“Baker has created a spellbinding and transformative portrait of contemporary lives lived in the margins that are otherwise too easily forgotten,” the official synopsis reads. “The Florida Project declares, boldly and proudly, that anywhere can be a Magic Kingdom — it just depends on how you see it.”
Following its premiere out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May, The Florida Project quickly established itself as a potential Oscar contender, given its overwhelmingly positive critical reception and quick acquisition by A24. Dafoe’s performance in particular has garnered praise, suggesting that the veteran actor could score a third nomination from the film academy in the months ahead.
The Florida Project beams into theaters Oct. 6. Watch the new trailer above and scroll on for a fresh one-sheet.