Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Florida Project

Dave and I actually went to see a movie last night. I know! Shocker! We save our rare cinema experiences for films we really, really want to see, and for me, that included Sean Baker's new movie "The Florida Project."

You all know I grew up in Central Florida and lived there until I was 33. So I know the state like the back of my hand, and having worked there as a journalist I'm familiar with the moths-to-a-flame quality it seems to have on people who are down and out, trying to start again, trying to scrape together a life with meager resources. "The Florida Project" is about a struggling single mom and her daughter living in a purple motel in the shadow of Disney World.

The film seemed a bit aimless at the beginning, but once I adjusted to its pace and its incredible sense of reality -- I felt like I was spying on the activities of real people, rather than watching anything scripted -- it came together. And the performances are terrific. I was awed. It wasn't a happy story, but it felt real and honest and, as I said, although my own experience of Florida was secure and comfortable, I've seen people living that way. The movie captures Florida's tawdriness and absurdity -- and even in that tortured theme-park landscape, its beauty -- really well, too.

We saw it at the Everyman Baker Street cinema, which has this groovy mural of some '60s models on the stairway. (I later learned, via the interwebs -- God bless Google! -- that it's an image from a 1966 French film called "Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?" The actual photo includes a light bulb in front of all the models' faces, which makes the placement of the chandelier at right especially appropriate.) And there's also a groovy mural of the Beatles in the lobby seating area (top). It's a refreshing change from the Sherlock Holmes motif adopted by every other business on Baker Street.

We had dinner there -- a bunless hot dog for Dave, because he's being gluten-free these days, and a pizza margherita for me, with two lemonades and some popcorn. The downside -- the price for dinner and tickets was £58 (about $76)! I just can't get over how much movies cost in London.


  1. Thanks for the heads up. It is the kind of film I prefer. If I go to see it at The Showroom in Sheffield my ticket will cost me £5.40. I will definitely not buy anything else at the cinema - no popcorn, nothing. I never do.

  2. A light dinner and a movie for two cost $76??!! Are those seats upholstered with mink??

    I've read good reviews of that movie, but I have a hard time looking at Willem Dafoe's face. I saw him hanging out in Soho in NYC once, many years ago. He's a very tiny man.

  3. Oh my. That's a lot of money for a movie and a bunless hot dog. Well. You know what I mean. Is the gluten-free helping Dave at all?
    Should I go see that movie or will it make me want to die of angst and despair?
    I do love the groovy theme of that theater.

  4. we usually save our movie going for sci-fi. lots of Marvel, although there are a couple that we never managed to see.

  5. Sounds like a fine night out. Nice murals at the theater and an interesting movie.

  6. Wow...At those prices, I might see one film per year...

  7. I'm with everyone else. Way too expensive for my budget.

  8. I almost never go to the movies. Not only is it horribly expensive, but theaters are always far too loud for my taste.

  9. That theater has rather groovy decor. And the price of movies in New York has skyrocketed too. Most cinemas are more than $20 per ticket.

  10. I love those posters and they must give that theatre a real 60's feel. And, that furniture fits right in. As someone above said, "groovy". I totally understand wanting to see that movie, if someone made a movie about a place I had lived, I want to see it too. In fact, I own a copy of movie that was filmed on my street when I was working in Chicago. It wasn't a great movie, in fact it went straight to video but I love to watch for the familiar scenes.

  11. That sounds like an interesting movie, I’ll keep my eye out for it (cause heaven knows we won’t be going to the theater to watch it!).

  12. I have no idea how much movies are here now but recently husband and I went out for the first time in a long time for a pub meal . . . I nearly choked when I saw the bill - $80 for two unspectacular bar meals and three beers . . .

  13. Sorry, my horror got me all off the train of thought . . . wanted to say I LOVE that furniture in the picture!

  14. YP: I'm pretty certain there's no theater ticket to be had at that price in London. The same phenomenon is true in the states, though -- movies in the major cities are MUCH more expensive than they are elsewhere.

    Vivian: That's so funny! He seems very tall! I like him as an actor, though he is a weird-looking guy.

    Ms Moon: Yes, the guten-free thing is helping Dave. He's also sworn off lactose and alcohol. All of that together seems to have made a positive difference. I think the movie is worth seeing, but it is angsty.

    Ellen: Sci-Fi would be Dave's option, too!

    Robin: It was! :)

    E: I know. It IS insane, although the Everyman is swanky and has big comfortable seats that are basically armchairs.

    Catalyst: Ours too!

    Jennifer: Yeah, what is it with theaters and volume?! I have that problem too, although smaller theaters like the Everyman (where we went) aren't so bad. It's the big chain cinemas that are the problem.

    37P: I remember when I moved to NYC from Florida years ago I was APPALLED at how much a movie cost. They're so much more expensive in New York than anywhere else.

    Sharon: What movie was made in your neighborhood?! I have to see it, even if it's bad!

    Bug: I'm sure it will be on Amazon soon enough!

    Jenny-O: Yeah, even a modest dinner out can be shockingly expensive. It's ridiculous.