I was excited to finally get around to watching The Florida Project last weekend now that it’s on Amazon. I knew that it looked (and was supposed to be) good, but I didn’t think I would enjoy it quite as much as I did.
There’s so much to like about the film (including some crazy good acting from an energetic group of kids). But probably the most remarkable thing is its world building: the movie is about poor, struggling families living in the shadow of Disney World outside Orlando; and it really takes that idea and runs with it, turning its rundown locations into makeshift, knockoff extensions of Disney’s kingdom.
It’s a really beautiful, entertaining approach that lets the movie straddle the line between showing adults’ lives and their difficult reality, and young children’s total ignorance and joy. And the way it so casually bounces between different groups of characters living in the same motel makes it feel like you’re getting to know a whole neighborhood.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
So everyone wanted a dark adaptation of The Jungle Book, right? I’m not so sure. But here’s our first look at Mowgli, which is directed by Andy Serkis (which makes enough sense, given how much mo-cap is in here) and features a lot of famous voices, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Benedict Cumberbatch. I don’t want to be entirely dismissive, but I just can’t imagine who’s going to be excited to see this. It seems too dark for kids, but also too animated and familiar for adults. It comes out October 19th.
Alright, fine, this looks adorable. Christopher Robin is a new twist on Winnie the Pooh that finds an adult Christopher Robin struggling with his responsibilities before running into his old friends. This trailer kind of seems like it’s running through the entire film, but whatever; it’s not like this was going to have a sad ending? It comes out August 3rd.
This is Paul Dano’s directorial debut, based on the 1990 novel by Richard Ford about a very traditional 1960s couple’s marriage falling apart. But more importantly, it looks like a phenomenal role for Carey Mulligan, who is always superb but looks devastatingly good here. The film is supposed to great based on early reviews. It comes out October 19th.
The King is a documentary about Elvis, but as someone says at the very end of this trailer, it’s not really about him at all. The film seems to be using Elvis as a lens to explore the American Dream, the history of racism, and the country’s ongoing struggles. It’s also a road movie, traveling through the US to speak with people along the way. It comes out June 22nd.
Skyscraper look like the perfect encapsulation of a Rock movie: he’s a loving dad, he’s concerned about others’ safety, and he’s ready to jump directly into a burning building to save someone he loves. Does the plot really matter? It’s dumb, simple, and looks totally effective. It comes out July 13th.
Here’s a first look at CBS’s fictionalized exploration of the early days of building rockets... and how, I don’t know, maybe dark magic and sex cults were involved? The series looks very weird and very ambitious — it also speaks to the direction that CBS wants to take CBS All Access (its streaming service), which is where this will be airing. It starts on June 14th.
Down a Dark Hall
There are a lot of ways that Down a Dark Hall looks like a traditional horror movie filled with jump scares. But there are a lot of other ways it looks much more fresh and interesting. The film — which seems to be a loose adaptation of Lois Duncan’s 1974 novel — almost entirely stars women. It’s about a boarding school that houses teenage girls who’ve gotten in trouble in various ways. It seems to be mixing in a bit of a fantasy vibe, too, at least in places. It comes out August 17th.
I’m still not entirely sure what this movie is about, but I’m not sure it really matters. Damsel is a very modern twist on a western that seems to be about love, and learning to listen to people, and maybe about what happens when you wind up in a different role than you expected to be in. It looks like a whole lot of weird and awkward fun. It comes out June 22nd.
City of Lies
Finally, the movie about Biggie we’ve been waiting for, the one starring... Johnny Depp? I really can’t handle this trailer. It’s based on a real investigation into the murders of Biggie and Tupac, but it honestly feels like fan fiction.