Reel Movie Mondays: Winter 2024
Flora and Son
Directed by John Carney | Ireland, USA | 2023 | 94 mins | R | English | Cineplex Pictures
With Flora and Son, Irish writer-director John Carney has crafted his most soulful song cycle yet, setting a young single mother on a journey of self-discovery.
Flora is something of a hot mess. She’s feisty, charismatic, and a trouble magnet. She loves to party — but she loves her 14-year-old son Max more, even if it seems like all they do is quarrel. In an effort to bridge the gulf between them, Flora gives Max a guitar, but Max’s ideal musical instrument is his computer, which he uses to construct infectious dance tracks.
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Rather than let the guitar collect dust, Flora opts to develop her own musical chops, taking online lessons from Jeff, a handsome troubadour who shows Flora how to form basic chords and introduces her to the genius of Joni Mitchell. Flora falls for Jeff, despite the fact that she’s in Dublin and he’s in Los Angeles. But as Jeff pierces Flora’s heart, he also inspires in her a creative urge that might lead to a whole new way of connecting with Max.
In films like the beloved Oscar winner Once and Sing Street, Carney has reinvented the musical. Carney’s films convey a profound understanding of how music lifts us out of life’s dead-end distractions and carries us to a place where we can be our best selves. Flora and Son is a soaring realization of this idea.
“Heart and soul — those two concepts beaten to death by lyricists — suffuse every scene of this modest, perfect picture.” –Kyle Smith, Wall Street Journal