Every year, films pass us by that we regret having not gone to see at the cinema at their time of release and Sing Street is the perfect example. Released back in May 2016, it went largely unnoticed despite critical acclaim and mostly positive reviews. With my only other experience of films coming out of Ireland being The Stag (the less said about the better) I had my doubts despite what I’d read online.
Set in 1980’s Dublin, Conor’s life has taken a turn for the worse, his family can’t afford to send him to private school anymore so is transferred to a public catholic school. Here, he not only has to keep out the way of the school bully, but the teachers as well. Conor meets the girl of his dreams and to impress her, he starts a band.
I am a sucker for films that was made in, or based in the 80’s. I was born in 85’ so remember next to nothing about the decade, but it has given us some of the greatest movies and music that we all still watch and listen too to this day.
And Sing Street is no different, this is pure 80’s nostalgia right here. You hear some of the best songs and see some of the worst fashion trends.
In the film there are stereotypical kids and adults that you would expect to see in most movies and I think that near enough every character was portrayed perfectly. I won’t bore you by going through everyone but just a small selection of my favourites.
Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), for someone who has a quiet exterior at the beginning, slowly releases this inner force throughout the film and it’s fantastic to watch as he grows in to the man he wants to be and doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.
Raphina (Lucy Boynton) is the beautiful, free spirited girl of Conor’s dreams and he convinces her to help with the band. At first you’re unsure of her but the more you see, the more you realise how vulnerable she is.
Darren (Ben Carolan) is the band’s manager/cameraman/promoter, you name it, he’ll do it. He was the school bullies number one target until Conor came along and he has plenty of funny lines and looks that will have you giggling throughout.
Brendan (Jack Reynor) is Conor’s older stoner brother who dropped out of college. For me, this was the best character of the whole film. He is armed with a hatful of monologues that will not only teach Conor valuable lessons but also make you laugh and cry. He steals every scene he is in, my particular highlight being Conor’s dream video where Brendan appears as a Danny Zuko-like character.
There is even new music that was created for the film and every track is amazing. They are worthy to go on any “Best of 80’s” compilation and I listen to them regularly. My favourites are “Up”, a love song that is written by Conor about Raphina. And “Drive It Like You Stole It”, a true 80’s pop song that would fit comfortably alongside a Hall & Oates single.
I know there is still a couple of months left of the year but this has been the best film of 2016 I’ve seen so far. I did not stop smiling from start to finish and the first thing I wanted to do when it finished, was to watch it again. So I did, and if anything I enjoyed it more as I found myself singing along with some of the fantastic music that was created for the film.
Overall, this gets the top marks from me, 5 stars! If you want something that’s going to make you smile, laugh and cry whilst nodding along to some old 80’s smashers (as well as some new ones) then this is perfect for you. It’s going to be a tough one to beat, but with Oscar season on its way, we’ll have to wait and see.
Thanks for reading.