Atlantic critic David Sims posted a rave review of Sean Baker‘s The Florida Project on 10.5.17. He gave special props to Willem Dafoe‘s performance as Bobby, the ocasionally flustered but fair-minded proprietor of Orlando’s Magic Castle motel, in part by saying “it might be the finest role of Dafoe’s storied career.”
A24 marketers promptly made Sims’ quote sound more definitive by removing the “might be,” but they all remove modifiers.
It goes without saying that Dafoe’s lead performance in Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Temptation of Christ (’88) is far and away the finest of his career, not to mention his greatest role. There’s not even a debate about this…c’mon. Sims got carried away (as we all do from time to time) but he shouldn’t have even said “might,” which is the same as saying “possibly” or “arguably.” The “father, can you forgive me?” passage at the very end of Last Temptation blows Baker’s entire film to smithereens, and if Sims doesn’t know this he should.