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Flora and Son

John Carney |USA/Ireland |2023 |97min
Rating: 14A Cast: Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Orén Kinlan, Marcella Plunkett, Paul Reid


December 3:3:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:00 pmDecember 4:5:00 pm, 7:00 pm

The streets of Dublin are alive with the sound of music in Flora and Son, which centers on the fraught relationship between wild-child single mum Flora (Eve Hewson) and her troubled teenage son Max (newcomer Kinlan, a youngster with keen comic timing). The two behave more like rancorous siblings rather than parent and child. A slightly worn acoustic guitar retrieved from a dumpster is the movie’s deus ex machina. Flora hopes the instrument will give Max a sense of purpose, but eventually she decides to learn to play it herself to impress him and anyone else within her loopy orbit. Enter Jeff the Guitar Guy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who gives online tutorials to would-be strummers. Though an ocean and a continent physically separate them, a flirtatious attraction soon sparks between student and teacher. While Hewson’s splashier performance energizes the film, it’s Gordon-Levitt who gives Flora and Son its sweetness and light. Here, his deceptively low-key performance is measured by humility and tenderness. —Austin Chronicle

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