FLORA AND SON
Starring: Eve Hewson, Orén Kinlan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jack Reynor, and Paul Reid
Director: John Carney
Flora and Son doesn’t reach the same levels as writer/director John Carney’s other films, but it’s still very hard to resist. It’s elevated by the effortlessly charming lead performance of Eve Hewson, whose vulgarity makes way for some serious emotional payoff. Carney, once again, looks at how we can find healing through music, and while it can come off as corny at times, it's an irresistible crowd-pleaser that is funny, sweet, and easy to get behind.
Headlined by the underrated Eve Hewson, Flora and Son mixes a dysfunctional family drama with a modern-day love story. Hewson's Flora works well with all characters, but none as strongly as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Jeff. This is thanks to director John Carney coming up with creative ways to make sure we aren’t just staring at a laptop screen for half the runtime, as well as the perfect casting of Gordon-Levitt. It’s just such a pleasant surprise, and as unlikely as it may be, I’d genuinely be interested in seeing the continuation of this story.
While director John Carney delivers another feel-good music-infused film, I can’t help but feel that Flora and Son is lacking the heart and magic present in Carney’s previous film, Sing Street. Don’t get me wrong… I quite enjoyed this movie due to the natural and charming performances of Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Orén Kinlan, but it needed more oomph to fully convey the solid message of a mother trying to reconnect with her son through music. I needed more Flora AND SON than Flora and Gordon-Levitt’s character.
This film was reviewed by Adriano as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, and Nick as part of the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.