Sing Street (12a)
With difficulties at home in 1980s Dublin and a new rough school to get used to, Conor decides to make his mark and impress the girl of his dreams by starting a band. Twinkling dialogue, great music and winning performances from a largely unknown cast. A feast of feel-good nostalgia.
John Carney | Ireland/UK/USA | 2016 | 106 mins | 12a
After a few thoughtful films earlier in our season, here is our little Christmas treat for you. It’s been done before – the musical comedy in which unlikely stars defy local derision to achieve modest glory – but that doesn’t take away from its charm. This film’s success is down to its twinkling dialogue, great music and winning performances from a largely unknown cast. And as for the fashions…this is a feast of nostalgia.
The film transports us back to Dublin in 1985. The economic recession forces Conor out of his private education into a tough new school and into survival mode. Forming a band, just so that the cool and mysterious Raphina, the object of his affections, can feature in the video is a way to make life tolerable in the new environment, for himself and for the motley bunch he recruits. Spurred on by the enthusiasm, if not the direction, of his music- loving brother this is his rite of passage.
Director John Carney always keeps one foot on the ground and that gives the film its emotional heft. Even the truly unpleasant behaviour of some characters is ultimately explained by the poor hand life has dealt them. There are some poignant moments, but the underlying theme in the film is to let the kids be the heroes they believe they can be. Like Carney’s other films it is a celebration of laying yourself out for love, even if that means getting trampled in the process.
This is a film with a big heart, which can make you laugh and cry…and will have you humming the songs for days. Enjoy!
Weighted vote 94%