NewsWorld News

“Flora and Son” is a nice film for cynical times

By Jake Coyle | Associated Press

John Carney, the Irish filmmaker of “Once”, “Sing Street” and “Begin Again”, is directing the film version of “Three Agreements and the Truth”.

His films, unapologetically earnest feel-good films for cynical times, are lo-fi musicals that tell simple, charming stories. There are usually love interests. But eternal romance is for music. His films are the kind that would be easier to call “sentimental” if his central belief – in the redemptive power of music – weren’t a little true.

The song remains much the same in Carney’s latest charmer, “Flora and Son,” starring Eve Hewson as a working-class single mother from Dublin who takes guitar lessons. Flora’s first instinct, when she retrieves a worn acoustic guitar from a dumpster, is to give it to her troubled 14-year-old son, Max (Orén Kinlan), as a belated birthday present. Max, however, is baffled.

“You expect me to turn into Ed (expletive) Sheeran? ” he says.

Their life together in a small apartment is far from harmonious. Their interactions are caustic and cruel. Flora, who we first meet dancing at a nightclub and returning home with a man she immediately regrets, is not shy about expressing her disinterest in parenthood. Max, meanwhile, is about to be kicked out of school.

These are problems that perhaps require more than a six-string to solve. But Carney, who wrote and directed the film, has a knack for not hitting the cornball notes too hard and mixing in enough humor to keep the saccharine tones from taking over.

Reflecting on her sad situation, Flora finds a new resolve. “This can’t be my story,” she says, like a good protagonist. “This can’t be my story.” She browses YouTube for guitar lessons before settling on Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a laid-back instructor from Southern California who immediately attracts her.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button