Baker more than succeeds in making the location, Orlando, and the hotel a living breathing character into the film. It’s a full transportation into the world of the film
Baker has proven to be a talented auteur giving voice to the poverty stricken and those on the fringes of society
Beautiful photography- gaudy pastels and street signage—It reminds me a little of Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas though it doesn’t quite have Wenders (and I believe his DP was Mueller’s) photographical eye
Also reminded me of last year’s American Honey though I found Andrea Arnold’s film to be the superior work… I think David Gordon Green’s George Washington is another and yet another is beasts of the southern wild. They all have some elements of the swirling romances of youth supremely captured
There are really three fascinating stories going on… The largely depressing story of the mother who is struggling—this is often all we get in these sort of indie dramas. But we also have Willem Dafoe’s story/character caught in the middle and then of course Brooklynn Prince’s “moonee” child who is largely resilient and unbelievably happy. Baker shoots all three stories differently- quite brilliant
This is description, not evaluation, but it’s a largely plotless indie-neorealism… my evaluation may come in with the last scene which breaks away from that—I’m still mulling it over by my initial reaction was that this was a unwelcomed break from form—not a huge problem with it—it just didn’t rub me the right way upon first blush
I want a 2nd view before truly evaluating- for now I think it’s a high-end Recommend that isn’t quite up to the quality of a top 10 of the year film. It lacks the poetic sweeping visual style of Baker’s 2015 tangerine.
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