The road may be long, but I'll always be a Jersey girl. When I listen to Bruce Springsteen or hear, once again, that Meryl Streep's from my home state, I'll inevitably feel a surge of pride. And when I see a movie that, in some way, pays homage to that tiny, tough state that's far more than just the "armpit of New York," I feel recognized.
The Florida Project will do for Floridians what movies about New Jersey have done for me. Sean Baker's latest film, in theaters October 6, is set in the outskirts of Walt Disney World. Knock-off souvenir shops, strip malls, and motels decorated like castles line the wide highways. In that eco-system of tourist rip-offs and foreclosed housing complexes live six-year-old Moonee (Brooklyn Prince) and Halley (Bria Vinaite), her struggling single mother. While The Florida Project is certainly grounded in character — Prince's mischievous Moonee, and Willem Dafoe's weary yet loving motel manager are particularly unforgettable — those characters and their situations would not be possible without the state.
In that way, The Florida Project is the quintessential movie about Florida. It's a movie that couldn't be set anywhere else. Here are 50 movies that capture some sliver of each state's personalities. Keeping clicking to find yours.
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