Flora and Son | Review by: Benjamin Garrett
A film that’ll have your toes tapping and your heart singing, Flora and Son is another music filled delight from John Carney. Led by a trio of wonderful performances and filled with catchy original songs, I dare you not to fall just a little bit in love with this one.
The movie revolves around the turbulent relationship between Flora and Max (Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan) - a mother and son who rarely see eye to eye. In an attempt to better herself, Flora takes up online guitar lessons, and forms a meaningful connection with her teacher, Jack (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). It’s an uplifting story about self-worth, self-discovery, and finding unlikely common ground where you least expect it.
Hewson is absolutely wonderful, bringing a lot of warmth to such a blunt and opinionated character. You can tell she’s been through some hardships, and it’s led to her putting up walls when it comes to her relationships in life. Kinlan is the match to her fuse, with the two of them constantly going head to head in explosive shouting matches. It’s heartbreaking stuff, but you can still feel love between them despite their bitter demeanours. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is incredibly charming, playing his role with such patience and compassion. The back and forth, contrasting chemistry between Jack and Flora is a total joy to watch.
Of course, the music is a character of its own, playing such a huge role in the lives of these three people. John Carney obviously has a passionate understanding of the music industry and that shines through brilliantly here. You almost feel as if you’re a part of the lessons yourself. Hearing and seeing the small improvements with each passing session will surely inspire some viewers to take up guitar themselves after the credits roll. The songs and lyrics are beautiful on their own, but the creative way they’re filmed makes them truly magical.
Flora and Son is another winning musical showcase for John Carney. It’s a relatively familiar story, elevated by the magic of music, and brought to life through three wonderful performances. What’s not to like?
Review by: Benjamin Garrett