Directed by: John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy.
UK release date: 20th May 2016
John Carney (Once, Begin Again) has a knack for making touching dramas where you feel physically within the space of the characters. Though not as intimate as the beautiful Once, Sing Street similarly captures your heart through the sweet protagonist Conor Lalor and its original songs that sound like they are straight from the 1980s.
Due to his family’s money struggles, Conor has to moves from his posh school to the local Synge Street Christian Boys School (which Carney himself attended), which is filled with typical bullies and a strict, unlikable principle. Luckily Conor finds a group of friends with whom he starts the band Sing Street, in hope of impressing the mysterious and beautiful Raphina. As expected, this comes with its own issues such as Raphina’s imminent move away from Dublin to achieve her dreams in London and Conor’s parent’s daily arguments causing a strain on him and his siblings. Yet despite all of these setbacks, Sing Street continue to create bigger and better songs, and even score a gig at their school disco.
While Ferdia Walsh-Peelo is certainly likeable as Conor and makes it easy to feel sympathetic towards him, Jack Reynor as Conor’s older brother Brendan, a recent college drop-out, steals every moment he is on the screen. Reynor is the main source of laughs, but he also delivers one of the most emotional moments of the film which suggests that Reynor has the talent for both big Hollywood blockbusters and smaller, indie films.
Sing Street is not completely perfect, with transition issues particular during the first act and moments that do not quite fit with the rest of the narrative, but the film is still enjoyable to watch. This is mostly due to the music and actors, who certainly hold the film together and make it stand out from other coming-of-age musical comedies.