Sing Street

A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

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  • ★★★★½ review by Todd Gaines on Letterboxd

    Sometimes you watch a movie and everything clicks. You feel like the movie was made just for you. That's what happened when I experienced John Carney's Sing Street. Why did it click with me? Perhaps, its the coming of age genre that I'm a sucker for. Or, the mid '80s setting that reminds me of my own childhood. It could be the fact I adore music in movies when performed on stage. And, the real kicker, it's set in Dublin, Ireland, and the story revolves around a group of kids who start a band and dream big. Yeah, I couldn't help but think of Alan Parker's The Commitments. A film that's super special to me, and a movie that's forever a top 4 flick.

    I'm most impressed by the mashup of original music with familiar '80s tunes a lot of us know. When the kids sing, they're singing their own material, but other music from artists such as Duran Duran, A-ha and The Cure are used to set the tone, and fashions for our characters. As the kids develop as a band, their influences change, and they dress the part. One day, they're channeling their inner Nick Rhodes, the next, they're sporting their best emo-emotional Robert Smith look. It's such a fantastic way to incorporate popular pop music into the narrative of the film.

    I adore the original music. Each song, tells a story about our lead, Conor and his triumphs and struggles in his day to day life. From, The Riddle of the Model, that focuses on his relationship with wannabe model and potential love interest, Raphina. To, Brown Shoes, a song about his struggles with the priest who runs his catholic school, each song is a jam. Those two songs are great, but Drive It Like You Stole It and Girls, are the two musical highlights of the movie. Both, might bring a tear or twelve to your eyes, based on their awesomeness.

    If I had to point out a weakness, it would be the lack of character development with the other band members besides Conor. This is basically Conor's story, with a little help from his girl, Raphina, and his big brother, Brendan. All 3 actors are excellent. The casting is great all around. 

    There's been a lot of talk about a certain movie with music in it. You know, the one about an actress and a lounge singer, the couple who dreamed big dreams. Yeah, more people should also discuss in the same sentence, the story of a singer and a model, and their super big dreams, too. Sing Street is an incredible film, and it's going to be very high on my top 10 of 2016 list.

  • ★★★★★ review by Adam Kempenaar on Letterboxd

    Everyone is going to get so sick of me talking about this movie.

  • ★★★★½ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd

    Viewing #2.

    Made me cry.

    On an airplane.

  • ★★★★ review by CinemaClown on Letterboxd

    A beautifully balanced, sensibly narrated & splendidly performed indie covering the highs & lows of teenage life while demonstrating the magic of creating music with all the romance of the art in tact, Sing Street is a heartfelt ode to the carefree, joyous days of growing up and with its subtle touch of melancholy & hummable soundtrack, delivers an experience that's delightfully captivating.

    Set in Dublin, Ireland, during the 1980s, Sing Street tells the story of a young kid who is looking for an escape from all his troubles at home where his family is on the verge of falling apart, and at his new school where students & teachers are quite rough. His window of opportunity arrives when, in an attempt to impress a girl, he invites her to star in his band's music video despite not being a part of one.

    Written & directed by John Carney, the movie packs just the right amount of heart, fun, nostalgia, heartaches & optimism and also benefits from the interesting set of characters the writer-director brings to life. The events progress in smooth, effective manner from start to finish while the songs are expertly placed at just the right moments to exquisitely capture the underlying context of the emotions on surface.

    Production design team does well to nicely capture the period details of the timeline its plot is set in. Cinematography encapsulates the entire feature with an overcast ambiance with warm & cold colours utilised as per the scene requirements. Editing provides a steady pace to its 105 minutes narrative with each scene only taking the story forward while songs are composed from scratch and have an infectious quality to them.

    Coming to the performances, Sing Street features a relatively unknown but incredibly committed cast in Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Mark McKenna, Jack Raynor, Aidan Gillen & Maria Doyle Kennedy and everyone does an excellent job with what they are given. Walsh-Peelo in particular is a standout and shares brilliant chemistry with both Boynton & McKenna while Raynor pretty much steals the show in every scene he appears in.

    On an overall scale, Sing Street is the feel-good movie of the year that's euphonic in both happy & sad moments and manages to incorporate a mix of both with amazing comfort. A healthy dose of entertainment that treads the fine line between wishful fantasy & cold reality and promises plenty of laughs & hints of tears, this bittersweet coming-of-age musical comedy hits the right chords at the right time throughout its runtime and is one of the best films of 2016. Definitely recommended.

  • ★★★★★ review by Jared S. on Letterboxd

    My mind can't reconcile how god damn uplifting and depressing this film is at the same time. Christ.

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