Review: Sing Street
Director: John Carney
By Sarah Stopforth
The first time I saw the trailer for Sing Street, I knew it would be great simply because of its banging 80s soundtrack, featuring some of my all-time favourites from The Cure, The Jam, Hall & Oates and The Clash. This was enough to hook me in. Little did I know just how good every facet of the film would be, from the original music, to the 80s pop-culture references, to the exploration of family relationships and coming of age.
Filmmaker John Carney, is the Irishman behind 2013’s Begin Again (one of my favourite films from that year) starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley, in a similarly songwriting filled, band-jamming-groove-fest set in present day New York. Sing Street is so incredibly on par with its predecessor, but in the best way possible – Great Scott, a time machine!
Set in 1985 Dublin, Ireland, the film follows Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and his family, whose parents (featuring Little Finger from Game of Thrones chain smoking) move him to Synge Street Catholic School to aid the financial troubles they’re experiencing. Rosy-cheeked Conor faces bullying and unfair treatment from the school’s ‘brother’ (Principal), but eventually finds a friend. With this friend he starts a band to impress model Raphina (Lucy Boynton).
Unclear of what their style should be Conor’s older brother Brendan (Jack Reynor), whose record collection would put most to absolute shame, educates his little brother on rock and roll: the styles, the genres, and hairstyles.
Along the way, Conor and lead guitarist and musical prodigy, Eamon (Mark McKenna), begin to write their own songs for the band, taking inspiration from 80s hits like the thumping baseline in Hall & Oates’s “Maneater”, the ba ba ba ba ba da ba grooves of The Jam in rock tune “Town Called Malice” and the dreamy riffs in The Cure’s “Inbetween Days”.
The film ends on the highest note possible for a coming-of-age story; going out into the world and not looking back. Sing Street focusing on that brotherly bond, which if you have one, is so true, pure and utterly beautiful.
Sing Street is my favourite film of the year thus far.
Check out the sweet soundtrack below for some really nice original songs from the film (“Go Now” by Adam Levine is my favourite) and a musical education if you aren’t well versed in 80s hits…and if you are: welcome back.