Sing street

Fun at the movies? Who ever heard of such a thing? Yet, it may happen. Let’s say we go back in time. It is 1985 in Dublin, Ireland. Young 14-year-old Conor “Cosmo” (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is sent from private school to a public school because his parents have fallen on hard times. So it’ll be the Christian brothers. Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley), the tyrannical headmaster gives Cosmo a hard time for not wearing the regulatory black shoes. Next, Cosmo meets the school bully, Barry (Ian Kenny), who slaps him around a few times. But that bully is not your usual movie bully. Not the usual cliché anyway. At home, Cosmo’s older brother, Brendan (Jack Reynor), shows him the new musical sensation: music videos. Groups like Duran Duran, The cure, The clash… Cosmo, who plays guitar, decide to form a band, especially to impress a girl he met. Raphinia (Lucy Boynton) looks older than him, and probably is. Cosmo asks Raphinia if she would model in the videos they’re planning for the band. Cosmo enrolls other boys from school. Darren (Ben Carolan) will act as a producer and video technician. Then there is multi-instrumentalist Eamon (Mark McKenna). Cosmo and Eamon will get together and write new original songs. There are five musicians with Cosmo being the lead singer. The name of their band: Sing street! There is a series of scenes when they first get together to play where you can measure the level of acting of this young cast. One line after another, perfect timing. Could you say perfect pitch? And then for the remainder of the film I was awestruck. Watching Sing street is like listening to someone sing on key for two hours. It is not all perfect, but when it is, it’s because of this young cast and the music they do. It is because of the young lovers. Forget about the adults. Forget about the older brother (Boring!). Ferdia Walsh-Peelo is a wonderful singer and actor, and he literally carries Sing street. John Carney, who previously directed musical dramas Once and Begin again, knows a thing or two about how important music can be in someone’s life. It is an autobiographical film on Carney’s upbringing in Dublin. The soundtrack is full of wonderful songs from the era, but also new ones for the Sing street band. Some were written by John Carney himself. Sing street is about music, of course, but about the 80s too. And nostalgia (Boy, those costumes, the hairs!). And romanticism.  And, yes, fun!

Rémi-Serge Gratton

Sing street

Directed by:
John Carney

Screenplay by:
John Carney

Starring:
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
Lucy Boynton
Aiden Gillen
Jack Reynor
Maria Doyle-Kennedy

106 min.

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