Time Out says
John Carney, the writer-director of Once, returns with a valentine to '80s pop and the Irish kids who embraced it.
Built out of crowd-pleasing elements as durable as a lacquered, sky-high ’80s hairdo, writer-director John Carney’s coming-of-age musical is a synth-drenched joy: a tuneful, deeply personal ode to the impulse that forges a high school rock band. If Carney’s beloved Once set the template, Sing Street coats it with pitch-perfect nostalgia: Growing up in 1985 Dublin, sensitive teen Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, a discovery) suffers the beatings of his rough-and-tumble Catholic academy so he can race home to watch Duran Duran fall off a yacht. His failed-to-launch older sibling, Brendan (Jack Reynor, the soul of a film dedicated to “brothers everywhere”), looks on approvingly, and after some bedroom tutelage—“Rock and roll is a risk,” he insists, firing up a Cure record—Conor begins to seek fellow travelers.
Like an updated Commitments in rouge (liberally applied), Sing Street nails the details: junky self-made videos shot in alleyways, dorky bandmates of questionable talent (if not enthusiasm) and, most feelingly, the statuesque Raphina (Lucy Boynton), who comes to inspire Conor’s first song, “The Riddle of the Model,” along with his heart. You almost expect Sing Street to be the real story of an actual New Romantic combo, so vivid are these episodes. True to this filmmaker’s M.O., Carney also widens out to include more uncomfortable domestic realities (Conor’s parents are separating). If the movie has any drawback, it’s the way it turns its dreamy escapism into a full-on happy ending. Lukas Moodysson’s euphoric 2013 We Are the Best! was more honest in this regard, showing youthful music-making as the phase it so often is. But up to its big climactic gig, Sing Street more than earns the applause.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
Cast and crew
Maria Doyle Kennedy
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Sing Street is a brilliant film about kids making their dream come true. Connor the main character is the teenager we've all wanted to be. He is outdoing himself to seduce a girl, breaking the schools rule to impose his style (the funny thing is that he doesn't know himself what his style is and changes anytime he sees a new music video clip) and ending up choosing a very different path from his posh education expectations.
The film is entertaining the whole way through with good 80's music and is also sensitively painting a nice and reserved relationship between the two brothers.
I really spent a good time watching this film. You should go too!