Written By Ryan Hollen
Director John Carney is no stranger to the world of blending romance, music, and comedy-drama. He has done it with 2007’s Once and 2013’s Begin Again, both of which have been praised highly and have strong fan followings. But Carney is back at it again and this time might just have painted his Mona Lisa.
Sing Street is set in 1980’s Dublin and tells the familiar story of a boy desperate to impress the girl and will stop at no lengths to do so. Conor Lalor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) must transfer to the Synge Street Christian Boys School after his family has fallen on tough times financially. Not fitting in and already having an encounter with the school bully, Conor meets Darren (Ben Carolan) another boy at the school. The two form a friendship and Conor eventually impresses Darren by talking to the girl across the street from the school named Raphina (Lucy Boynton). Conor tells Raphina that he needs a model for his band's music video, though Connor doesn’t know how to play and is at this point “band-less”. With Darren’s help, Conor is able to meet Eamon (Mark McKenna) and a rag-tag group of musicians with Conor taking over his singer and writer, and thus - Sing Street is formed.
Carney had mentioned that he wanted to cast unknowns for the movie and to his credit, he casts the movie perfectly. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, and Mark McKenna are fantastic. Boynton delivers a star turning role that steals every scene she is apart of. Though not mentioned above, Jack Reynor, who plays Conor’s older brother Brendan, also impresses with the screen time given. He is able to flesh out what is essentially a side character used as a plot devices into one of the most charming characters in the movie.
The heart of the movie is the music and the movie delivers a great ensemble of 80’s hits featuring The Cure and Duran Duran but the original music is left leaving the viewer wondering why this music isn’t already on their playlist. Stand out original’s from the movie include “Up, “Drive It Like You Stole It”, and “The Riddle of the Model”.
The movie held its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and then had subsequent releases internationally. It held a limited released in the US in April. The movie is available now on iTunes and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray July 26th.
Verdict; A cast of unknown actors come together in pitch-perfect harmony for what might end up being the best movie of the year. “Sing Street” blends together a relatable concept, tremendous performances, great original music, and feel-good tones for a coming of age masterpiece.