Okay the story opens with Kool & and the Gang’s song “Celebration” which really sets the mood of the film, because they start off with two kids living in a run down motel called “The Magic Castle”. The kids Moonee and Scooty are running around having “good times” and causing trouble in the Neighborhood. The neighborhood is a strip of tourists traps and run-down motels near Disney World. Places that were once designed to be magical but are now filled with people who can’t afford to pay rent week to week. The motels are painted with bright colors and have names like “The Magic Castle” and “Futureland” which sound and look like fun and dreams, but in reality are full of sadness and shit. The kids pretty much run around the adults the first half of the film in the world they live in, but then you start to realize their parents are full of problems. Moonee’s mother is a dancer who makes money by stealing and selling perfume. The Manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe) is annoyed by the kids but still watches out for them because their parents don’t. Shit is always real and you get to see how these kids and people live in what used to be a magical place, and maybe still is to kids who don’t know any better.
Okay this movie was amazing. It’s honest, funny and real as fuck. The kids are the best and you will love them. They are vulgar and street smart but also feel like real kids. It never felt fake or cheap or scripted. Just people living their lives and they took us on a tour of those lives. Shit is happy and shit is sad. They also live right in front of Disney and are broke as fuck and can never get inside to the real “Magic Castle” just the busted purple motel they live in. Willem Dafoe does a great job and you feel sorry for him stuck being the manager of this hotel and stuck watching kids that aren’t his. Usually he creeps me out but in this he really feels like a goddamn human for once. The director Sean Baker really gave it to you, and you really feel like he grew up there. It never felt forced and cheesy and those kids deserve Oscars. You will love this movie and you will laugh a lot and you might cry too. This is one of the most realistic, interesting, and entertaining films I have seen this year. Go check it out. You will dig it for sure.
C. Bria Vinaite plays Halley and she was realistic also. A mother who is selfish but also loves her daughter and is stuck in a magical shit hole.
D. Willem Dafoe was great in this and honestly one of the few roles I liked him in. He felt honest.
E. The opening song is Kool & The Gangs “Celebration”. Which says a lot about the film, starting it on a happy note on this Disney Strip of shit hotels and motels. Kids celebrating good times in the middle of the adults hard times. What a great opening.
F. Two shots from the movie. The color in this movie is incredible. It’s like a coloring book. Beautiful trash.
G. This poster is great. The color and the girls and everything.