Carney has this genre on lock. No other working filmmaker has consistently captured what he's able to with his movies, zeroing in on the way music can bridge emotional distances.
Stream Flora and Son
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
An immensely charming Hewson makes it all seem effortless, though, even as Carney’s manipulative string-pulling threatens to get a bit too forceful, an instinctive and quick-witted actor who drags the film’s sillier, flightier moments back to earth.
Hewson takes a flawed but good-hearted mess of a character and makes her sympathetic, likable and fully human.
If we’re being honest, Carney isn’t breaking new ground here, and I keep waiting for him to make a movie that will finally fully exhaust his Whole Thing. But Flora and Son is not that movie.
Hewson never sees her as some kind of tarty punchline – neither does Carney, and neither will the audience. You know all that stuff about “strong female characters” who are also “flawed” or “human” or whatever other insane word salad Hollywood is still requiring of its female leads? Here’s a real one.
Flora and Son feels more like a scrappy demo tape than a polished album.
It’s catchy and touching, it weaves the music into the story with a spontaneity that can leave you laughing with pleasure, and it navigates an honest path from despair to belief, which is Carney’s disarmingly sweet calling card.
Flora and Son played more charming than cloying to me. It’s a nice movie about people who are mostly nice—deep down, anyway.