How the Toronto International Film Festival got deadly serious

Last week, while Hurricane Irma was still devastating the Caribbean on its way to the United States, the Toronto International Film Festival was screening The Florida Project — a movie that illustrates just what can be lost when storms batter the poor.

Writer-director Sean Baker’s film is one of the year’s best: a funny/sad slice-of-life that hunkers down in Orlando with an unemployed single mother and her vivacious troublemaker kid, as they eke out a living in and around a cheap motel run by a benevolent manager (played by a magnificent Willem Dafoe). An inspired mix of Little Rascals hijinks and neorealist art, The Florida Project is clear-eyed about how bad choices (or lack of choices) can condemn some folks to living on the margins.

But the movie’s also funny, lively, empathetic. Yes, it’s a critique of the inadequacies of American consumer culture — tellingly set just outside the Disney resorts. But it also argues emphatically that all kinds of people are worth preserving, even in places that may strike us as tawdry and squalid. And that’s a positive message to hear, at a time when human society always seems on the verge of total collapse.

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Source:: The Week – Entertainment

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