Flora and Son

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Flora and Son
US release poster
Directed byJohn Carney
Written byJohn Carney
Produced by
  • Anthony Bregman
  • John Carney
  • Peter Cron
  • Rebecca O'Flanagan
  • Robert Walpole
Starring
CinematographyJohn Conroy
Edited byStephen O'Connell
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release dates
  • January 22, 2023 (2023-01-22) (Sundance)
  • September 22, 2023 (2023-09-22) (United States)
  • February 23, 2024 (2024-02-23) (Ireland)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Countries
  • Ireland
  • United States[3]
LanguageEnglish
Box office$129,959[4]

Flora and Son is a 2023 musical comedy drama film written and directed by John Carney, featuring original songs by Carney and Gary Clark. The film stars Eve Hewson, Jack Reynor, Orén Kinlan, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Flora and Son had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2023, and was given a limited theatrical release in the United States on September 22, 2023, to be followed by a wide release in Ireland on February 23, 2024. It also began streaming on Apple TV+ worldwide on September 29, 2023. It received positive reviews from critics and was named one of the top 10 independent films of 2023 by the National Board of Review.[5]

Premise[edit]

Flora, a single mother living in Dublin, is having trouble with her estranged son Max, a rebellious teenage petty thief. Encouraged by the Gardaí to find Max a hobby, Flora rescues an old guitar from a skip and, with the help of a Los Angeles-based online guitar teacher, discovers that one person's rubbish can be another person's salvation.[6][7]

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography took place on location in Dublin.[8] Hewson and Gordon-Levitt were photographed with guitars while filming in Griffith Park in July 2022.[9]

Music[edit]

Original songs for the film come from Carney and Gary Clark, with Clark also writing the score. Clark and Carney had previously collaborated on music for film, stage and television.[10] Speaking at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Gordon-Levitt was quoted as saying "I finally got to play music in a movie! It's really true, I've always wanted to do it and I’ve always been a musician at heart and love doing it. I’ve learned to do many things for movies. I've learned to walk on a tightrope or play hockey or, certainly, lots of fighting and shooting and things like that. But this time I was practicing a skill that I've practiced most of my life, but having to do it at a bit more of a skill level than what I was used to."[11] Hewson could play the guitar before they made the film and said all singing she does on screen is her and told The Hollywood Reporter although she had to overcome a "massive, massive fear" of singing in the film, she never turned to her father (musician Bono) for musical tips: "I'd rather sing in front of the entire world."[12]

Release[edit]

Flora and Son premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2023.[13] The songs reportedly produced a "spontaneous clap-a-long and rapturous standing ovation" during its first screening.[14] A bidding war for distribution rights came down to Amazon Studios and Apple Studios, with the latter winning the rights for "just under" $20 million.[15] It was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2023.[3] It was released in select theaters in the United States on September 22, 2023, before streaming worldwide on Apple TV+ starting September 29, 2023.[16] It is scheduled to be released in Irish cinemas on February 23, 2024.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 93% of 154 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website's consensus reads: "Another music-fueled crowd pleaser from writer-director John Carney, Flora and Son proves almost impossible to resist."[18] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 76 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[19] In The Wall Street Journal, Kyle Smith called the film his favorite of the year.[20]

In March 2024, the film was nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Hair and Make Up, Best Original Music and Best Lead Actress for Eve Hewson at the IFTA Film & Drama Awards.[21]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 15, 2023 Original Song – Feature Film "High Life" – Gary Clark, John Carney, and Eve Hewson Nominated [22]
Song – Onscreen Performance (Film) Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Orén Kinlan, and Jack Reynor – "High Life" Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Flora and Son (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 27, 2023. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  2. ^ "Flora and Son (2023)". Irish Film Classification Office. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Flora and Son". TIFF. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  4. ^ "Flora and Son (2023)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 19, 2023.
  5. ^ Lewis, Hilary (December 6, 2023). "National Board of Review Names 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Best Film of 2023". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  6. ^ Wise, Damon (January 22, 2023). "Sundance Review: Eve Hewson Breaks Out In John Carney's 'Flora And Son'". Yahoo!. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  7. ^ Ide, Wendy (January 22, 2023). "'Flora And Son':Sundance Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  8. ^ McGoldrick, Debbie (January 12, 2023). "John Carney's new Dublin-based film gets Sundance premiere". Irish Central. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  9. ^ Cannon, Eoghan (July 21, 2022). "Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt spotted filming new John Carney musical in Dublin". Entertainment.ie.
  10. ^ "'Flora & Son' to feature original songs by Gary Clarke & John Carney". Film Music Reporter. January 4, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  11. ^ Carey, Matthew (January 22, 2023). "Joseph Gordon-Levitt Displays Singing, Guitar Chops In John Carney's 'Flora And Son,' Opposite Eve Hewson: "I've Always Been A Musician At Heart" – Sundance Studio". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  12. ^ Alex, Ritman (January 20, 2023). "Eve Hewson on John Carney's Sundance-Bowing Music Drama 'Flora and Son' and Why She Didn't Ask Her Dad (Bono) for Singing Tips". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  13. ^ James, Caryn (January 20, 2023). "'Flora and Son' Review: Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Make Music Together in John Carney's Latest Irish Charmer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  14. ^ Erbland, Kate (January 22, 2023). "Flora and Son' Review: John Carney Delivers Another Cozy, Crowd-Pleasing Irish Musical". IndieWire. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  15. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 24, 2023). "Apple Closing WW Deal For John Carney's 'Flora And Son' After Spirited Sundance Auction; Pic Marks Breakout Turn For Eve Hewson". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  16. ^ Neely, Amber (July 24, 2023). "Apple Original musical 'Flora and Son' arrives in theaters September 22". AppleInsider. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  17. ^ Shanahan, Luke (July 25, 2023). "Flora and Son to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival 2023". Irish Film and Television Network. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  18. ^ "Flora and Son". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 13, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  19. ^ "Flora and Son". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  20. ^ Smith, Kyle. "The Best Movies of 2023: 'Oppenheimer,' 'Elemental' and Originality's Overdue Success". WSJ. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  21. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (March 14, 2024). "Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott Among Irish Film & TV Awards Nominees; 'Lies We Tell' Leads Feature Categories – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  22. ^ "2023 HMMA WINNERS AND NOMINEES". Hollywood Music In Media Awards. Retrieved November 16, 2023.

External links[edit]