The complicated poverty of The Florida Project

This is The Little Rascals amidst ruinous poverty. And it works.

The Florida Project.
(Image credit: Marc Schmidt, courtesy of A24)

Throughout The Florida Project, a little girl named Moonee runs from one off-brand Disney-adjacent Orlando motel to another, roping her pint-sized friends into reckless adventures. They're so small they almost go unnoticed, as they zip between the likes of Futureland and the Enchanted Inn, stopping off at abandoned resort homes and office parks to smash up whatever the former occupants left behind. These kids are having the time of their lives.

They're also desperately poor. And if any passersby cared enough to meddle, all it would take is a phone call to get Moonee and her pals pulled off the streets and into Child Protective Services.

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