John Carney is one of the most unique filmmakers of this century. Once is nothing short of a masterpiece; following two musicians from different countries who share each other’s love for music. They perform a song at a Dublin music store, and begin to form a friendship like no other. Begin Again, which takes place in New York City, is just as great, but doesn’t quite capture the same beauty of Once. Now, Carney returns to his native Ireland with Sing Street (it opened last weekend at Brunswick’s Eveningstar Cinema). This time, he goes back to the past.
The year is 1985. The Irish are emigrating to London to seek a new life. For 15-year-old Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), he is in a tough situation living in Dublin. His parents (Aiden Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy) are fighting all the time and dealing with financial problems. They transfer him to another school, which he is being treated like dirt by the student body and the priests.
Everything changes when he meets a beautiful girl named Raphina (Lucy Boynton). Inspired by watching a music video of “Rio” by Duran Duran with his brother-in-law Brendan (Jack Reynor) who has a massive vinyl record collection, Conor decides to start a band and agrees to have her appear in some music videos before finding a nearby gig (“Rock n’ Roll is a risk. You risk being ridiculed,” Brendan says). As sparks begin to fly between Conor and Raphina, they begin chasing their dreams.
Like John Carney’s previous two films, Sing Street throws every mainstream musical out of the water. He does such an astounding job bringing the 1980s culture to life. It has a huge heart, humor (some in a typical dark Irish sense), poignancy, a kick-ass soundtrack (which I bought after getting out of the movie), gorgeous cinematography, and awesome, amusing characters who are talented musicians. I guarantee this will leave a smile across your face.
Follow your dreams and get out of your troubles.