Review: Sing Street (12, 1hr 46mins)

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Don’t you just hate it when real life gets in the way of your movie-watching?

All this cinema-going could be a full-time career!  In the real world though I have a proper full-time job, and around this I juggle planning a wedding and doing up a house.  All this can put the brakes on any plans to go to the flicks, no matter how much you would like to go.

Being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

After the glowing reviews that Sing Street received I was eager to go and see it on its theatrical release, but I didn’t get a chance to with all the above going on, plus it had a limited release so it was difficult to track down.  It’s been a slow few weeks with nothing really taking my fancy at the cinema, so what an opportunity to rent a film released this year that I missed out on.

That film was Mother’s Day

…I’m joking, it was Sing Street, and what a delightful film it is, too.

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It tells the story of Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who is taken out of his expensive school and enrolled in a free state-school when his parents hit financial and marital problems.  On his first day he soon finds that term times will no longer be sunshine and lollipops until he meets and falls in love with Raphina (Lucy Boynton), who lives in a girls’ home across the street from his school.  In order to impress her he tells her he is in a band and he needs a model to appear in their video.  She agrees, but with only himself and new mate and “Manager” Darren (Ben Carolan) in the band, they have to recruit musicians and write a song quick before filming begins.  This sets them on their path to form the eclectic band known as Sing Street.

From the off this film had me in stitches and is probably one of the best feel-good movies I’ve seen.  The script is tight and by the end credits it leaves you wanting more, which is always a sign that I have enjoyed a film immensely.  The story may sound like an unoriginal boy-meets-girl rom-com but it is not as predictable as you may think it will be, which is to the film’s credit as more experienced actors and directors with bigger budgets have tried to create an innovative film in this genre and failed… miserably!  The songs that Sing Street perform are unique and catchy and as I type I cannot get The Riddle of the Model out of my head!  I am reliably informed by someone with a much greater taste and knowledge of music than myself that the songs by other bands used in the film are classics and have been well chosen.  To me it all sounded great, with each track complimenting the 1980s visuals with aplomb.  You’ll find me in my local record store searching for the soundtrack soon!

Sing 06This has been cast masterfully also.  Most of the young actors are all unknowns but they have a natural presence on-screen.  Jack Reynor is a standout as Conor’s college drop-out stoner brother, Brendon, who helps him write his first song and identify his musical influences.  What an older brother he is and, despite him being around eight years younger than me, if he wants to be my older brother and give me sage life advice then he is welcome round mine anytime!  Despite my resistance to a Han Solo movie I think I would have beenSing 05 more on-board with the idea if Reynor had landed the lead.  His performance in this and What Richard Did shows what a successful and award-winning career he could potentially have.  Walsh-Peelo also shines with his innocent approach to falling in love so charming that it breaks your heart.  A hat tip also to Mark McKenna as Eamon, the multi-instrumentalist who is the heartbeat of Sing Street and whose deadpan quips are delivered with an artistry that Jimmy Carr can only dream about.

I only have one criticism though which I admit feels harsh considering how enjoyable this film is.  The movie starts out uproariously funny and if sides actually split from laughing so hard I would still be in A&E now, but the hilarity is abruptly abandoned and replaced with humour more akin to a heart-warming comedy-drama.  This is fine, but the band members who had me in hysterics quickly merge into the background for the leads to take centre stage and this is a shame as more time could have been spent on them without detriment to the main story or pace of the film.

This had a very long list of production companies during the opening moments of the film but it was refreshing to see it was The Weinstein Company that picked this up for distribution for the USA and it wasn’t decided that a remake was necessary.  More of this please, Hollywood!

Now let’s see when Mother’s Day is available to rent.  I feel like I’m on a roll!



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