Originally premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24th 2016, Sing Street released in Ireland on March 17th 2016. Written and directed by John Carney (Once, Begin Again), Sing Street is a coming of age musical comedy drama that follows a young Dublin teenager in the early 1980’s, as he is moved to a new school due to some family issues and in order to impress a girl he meets at the school, he forms a band with his classmates.
Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is the young son of Robert (Aidan Gillen) and Penny (Maria Doyle Kennedy). The parents are going through a rough patch, with marital and money problems. Conor is moved out of a private school and placed into a public school. He struggles to fit in at first, having to deal with meeting new people, a school bully and even the strictness of the school principal. One good thing to come form the move, is Conor’s meeting with Raphina (Lucy Boynton), an aspiring model, who he decides to start a band in order for her to appear in a music video for. Older brother Brendan (Jack Reynor) acts as Conor’s mentor, as Brendan educates Conor his musical tastes, upcoming trends in music and teaches him that he should use music as a way to express himself.
The film is packed with catchy original music, composed by Gary Clark and also contains music of the period from the likes of The Cure, A-ha, Duran Duran, The Clash, Hall & Oates, Spandau Ballet, and The Jam. Progression of the band is shown in several scenes from learning and playing covers, to writing and performing music in front of their peers. Also moving the film along, is the story following Conor’s parents, the romantic plot between Conor and Raphina and his relationship with older brother Brendan.
Sing Street is a finely crafted film, with fun and emotional notes, a brilliant soundtrack, great musical set pieces peppered in and fine acting from the young cast. I highly recommend it if you didn’t catch it first time around. It has been nominated for several major awards such as a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award and multiple IFTAs and in my opinion, was overlooked for an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song with ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’ by Gary Clark and Best Picture. It is available Netflix right now, so what are you waiting for? Check out this Irish gem of a film.