New Irish movie getting incredible international response 1 week ago

New Irish movie getting incredible international response

"Hollywood was guilty of these incredible clichés."

With the arrival of Flora & Son in cinemas this week, JOE had the opportunity to catch up with the movie's writer and director John Carney.


Carney hit international acclaim with his Oscar-winning 2007 release Once, and since then has continued to keep movie goers coming back for more, especially with the likes of 2013's Begin Again, starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley, as well as 2017's Sing Street, which was nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Picture in the Comedy or Musical category (which it lost to La La Land).

His new movie tells the story of Flora (Eve Hewson, daughter of U2's Bono), a single mother who is having trouble with her wayward teenage son Max (Orén Kinlan), who she shares custody with her ex-husband Ian (Jack Reynor). One day she fishes a guitar out of a skip and attempts to gift it to her son, but when he turns it down, she decides to keep it for herself, taking up music lessons online with friendly teacher Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Through this new hobby, she discovers a hidden part of herself, while also potentially opening up new doors of connection with her son.

Once again intwining modern Ireland with a passion for music, Flora & Son received an incredible response at its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival, with IndieWire reporting that it resulted in a "spontaneous clap-a-long and rapturous standing ovation".

Following that response, Apple purchased the distribution rights to the movie, and there is already talk that Flora & Son could be looking at Oscar nominations in the next few months. You can check out our full interview with John Carney right here:


Flora & Son director: 'They're here to just have an experience that is really like getting off a plane in Ireland'

During the interview, we asked Carney what it was like making Flora & Son with Apple, instead of through a more traditional movie studio, and how much it has changed the audience for Irish movies since the advent of streaming services:

"It is a massive change, a huge, huge change. And it is funny that some of the tech companies are more open than the traditional studios were to being international. And reaching different territories, different languages. And the real good news is that people don't mind reading, they don't mind subtitles.


"And that they are increasingly open to the stories from around the world. Different opinions and nuances. Universality is a bit of a dream. For me, the better a thing is, the more nuanced it is. Personally, I love the details and the specifics, and I don't like generalisations. And I think for a long time, Hollywood was guilty of these incredible cliches. The awful things about- just very one dimensional versions of the world, in movies that travelled around the world or that were filmed in different regions.

"And now that has really turned, and Squid Game is a great example, but there are so many examples of 'Wow, that is what happens there, and this is the way people talk and there are very subtle differences in communication'. And that seems to be the way things are going, which is great. It is really great for me, because I've found now in screenings of this film, and we found it with Once, when I brought that film, I found the audience were asking 'What did he say? What is the guy talking about? I can't hear a word'.

"Now you get people saying 'What did he say? I don't really care, I don't need to hear every thing she said and follow this plot' because it is not a plotty thing. It is a tonal, little snippet of Dublin life, it is like 'Bring it on!' People don't care as much that they're missing some of this stuff, they're here to just have an experience that is really like getting off a plane, not just a virtual Hollywood of Italy or Ireland or South Korea, but actually get off a plane and go in and meet the people and have an experience there."

Flora & Son arrives in cinemas on Friday 22 September, and will be available to watch on Apple TV+ on Friday 29 September.


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