We come across plenty of entertaining movies, but not a lot of well-written ones. Flora and Son is that rare case where the writers knew that they had produced a 10/10 product, and there was no need for any more validation or opinion. That is a huge thing for an artist, and such works are what end up being their favorites, even though they might not be the crowd-pullers. Therefore, let us try to get another look at this beautiful movie through the detailed summary and ending of Flora and Son.
Why does Flora want Max to learn music?
Flora is struggling to be a good mother to her son, Max, who has been warned that if he gets one more strike on his record, he will be sent to juvenile prison. Flora wants to be responsible and tries her best, but it is evident that she doesn’t like the job. She tells her friend that she wishes she could run away from it all. While it is not an unnatural feeling for most mothers, what is different is that the feeling is a little too constant for Flora. Either way, she is given the advice to give Max a hobby to pursue so that he will stay out of trouble. Flora finds a guitar in some trash and gets it fixed up as a gift for Max. She doesn’t even know whether he is into music or guitars, but this is what she thought of because she had no money. And when Max was disinterested, that made her angry. Either way, Flora doesn’t give up easily, especially since she wants to prove a point to her ex, Max’s father, Ian. Flora signs up for an online guitar lesson, and her teacher is none other than the sweet and charming Jeff, played by Joseph Gordon Lewitt. Flora likes him, and more than the lesson, she is interested in getting to know him. Jeff doesn’t encourage that at first. But when Flora, with her trademark inappropriateness, asks for a second chance, Jeff is up for a lesson, though it is clear this time that there is something more than a teacher-student relationship between them, though it is not addressed right away.
With time, Flora starts focusing on her guitar lessons, and along with the audience, she discovers a love for the music, which she probably did not know she had. Jeff was once a musician, but when that did not work out, he turned to teaching music as a career. He and Flora are very drawn to each other, and eventually, through their lessons and music, they start opening up. Firstly, when Jeff criticizes Flora’s taste for liking “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt, she tolerates it in the way a woman tolerates a man’s pretentiously intellectual opinions. But then he gets vulnerable with her, and she is able to navigate that without hurting his feelings while staying truthful to him and her own taste in things.
Jeff makes Flora listen to a song he wrote, and she lets him know that it lacks the hook that would make someone remember it or come back to it. But in her own time, Flora starts working on the song. Meanwhile, even her relationship with Max is changing.
How do Max and Flora get closer?
When we saw the mother and son in Flora and Son, they could barely stand each other and were just fulfilling their responsibilities. But after Flora starts taking music lessons, she and Max have their first real conversation about what the other person likes to hear. Flora is into dance music, and Max is into rock, as per our understanding. The second time they really come close is when Flora hears what Max has composed on his device, and she loves it. He writes most of the lyrics for the tunes, and Flora chips in. It is the first time she has seen her son’s talent, and she is a proud mother. On the other hand, she also notices that he likes a girl but is unable to tell her. To help him, she encourages him to write a song for her and turn it into a video, which is probably the first thing the mother and son do together in the entire film after the composition of the song. Something between them is repairing, and they are turning into an actual family. As for Jeff, Flora and him finally admit what they feel for each other, but it is clear that it may not work since they live in different countries. But neither has felt this strongly about anybody else in a long time, and Flora promises to come to Jeff soon.
Why does Flora not go to meet Jeff?
If Flora were to go meet Jeff, she would need to make living arrangements for Max first since she can’t take him with her. But nobody is ready to take care of Max for a month. Ian refuses, saying that he has work to do. Her best friend is also not in the most feasible situation to step up, and Flora loses her temper. Since she had Max so young, she feels like she missed out on a lot of her life while the rest of her friends and peers kept moving forward. We can understand Flora’s resentment at the situation, but she seems to feel entitled to others helping her navigate her life. It is especially annoying since she did not have Max because she wanted to be a mother but because she thought it would change her as a person, and she wanted that. Nobody can be responsible for her decisions except herself, and we suppose that as Flora vents it out, she slowly realizes that. Even if she doesn’t, then what happens next makes her see sense.
Max is about to go to jail because he received his last strike after he tried to steal from a music shop. That was reckless of Max, and he did it because he needed the instruments to work and to impress the girl he liked. Knowing that he was facing compulsory jail time, Flora had to do something to protect him, but Ian was of no help. In fact, he encouraged her to see it as an opportunity, as Max would be in juvie, and that would leave Flora free to go meet Jeff. On the day of the court hearing, Max is sentenced to eight weeks in juvenile detention, but Flora is hell-bent on not wanting him to go away. She does not only want to do the bare minimum but everything she can for him because she has realized how much she loves him. Seeing her pleas, the judge reduces Max’s sentence, and the boy is happy about the way his mother has stepped up for him. It is the first proof she has given him of her love, and it has permanently altered their relationship. Flora uses her saved money to get Max the instrument he wants and arranges it so that he can take it with him to juvie. It is a bummer that Flora is not able to go meet Jeff, but the man understands. Frankly, if long-distance relationships don’t look like this, we don’t want them.
During Flora and Son‘s ending, Max gets out of juvie, and he, Flora, Ian, and Jeff have formed a music band of sorts. They are taking their music to different parts of Dublin, and each of them is finally living a part of the dream they had always wanted.
Flora and Son is such a sweet movie, and we have enjoyed every minute of it. It is the way the music is composed and written to make the audience feel what Flora is feeling that is the highlight of the film. And the last song, the one the band plays at the bar, is undoubtedly the most catchy, as it should have been. Flora and Son is not to be missed, and we would certainly ask you to watch it.