Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Movie Review #418: "Sing Street" (2016)

Movie"Sing Street"
Director: John Carney
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes
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A teenager named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) from Dublin forms a band to impress a girl named Raphina (Lucy Boynton), who has aspirations of moving to London to become a model.

"Sing Street" is the latest film from writer/director John Carney. We are big fans of Carney's previous movies "Once" and "Begin Again," and were super excited when we saw the trailer for his latest flick. It would seem he has found his niche with these romantic musical dramedies because, like his past works, "Sing Street" is near flawless.

This film takes place in Dublin, Ireland in 1980's, a time when many families were struggling to make ends meet. This story is about a 15 year old kid named Conor Lawlor, played by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. Conor becomes a bit of an outcast after he is forced to transfer to a new school so his parents can save their pennies. After class one day, he sees a beautiful young girl named Raphina, played by Lucy Boynton, standing on a stoop across the street from his school. In order to impress her, Conor, or Cosmo as she affectionately calls him, tells her that he has a band and wants her to be in their music video. Now, to cover his lie, he must actually form a band with a few other outcast, nerdy, misunderstood kids from school, which they call Sing Street, a play on their school's name (Synge Street). When you think about it, most bands are probably formed in this manner as a way to impress someone. What starts as something just to impress Raphina quickly evolves into a full-blown passion for Cosmo and his band mates. He finds he has a knack for writing songs, and with the help of fellow band member Eamon, played by Mark McKenna, another talented and versatile musician, it turns out Sing Street might not be a pipe dream after all as the boys start to think they could really get gigs and girls by playing their own original music.

"Sing Street" is an outstanding movie about finding yourself, pursuing your dreams, and understanding your place through the power of music. This is the kind of film that has everything going for it and very little going against it. For one, it has good acting by a slew of up and coming young talent. We were so impressed by each and every actor in this film. Each person does a fantastic job bringing about a little something extra to the band and the story as a whole. It is also beautifully directed. Not only does John Carney have a way with integrating music seamlessly with comedy, romance, drama, and self realization, but he has a wickedly talented eye with a camera in his hand. Two boys sitting on a bench on top of a hill with beat up guitars in their hands while composing a song in front of the vast, green Dublin countryside never looked so breathtaking. Finally, this movie has an amazing, top notch soundtrack. Unlike "Once," the music featured in "Sing Street" is full of both previously released songs from well known artists and the original songs performed by the band. This mix of 1980's futuristic, pop, and new wave bands featuring the likes of Duran Duran, Joe Jackson, The Jam, and Hall and Oates, as well as new compositions inspired by the happenings the boys experience on a day to day basis (dealing with girls, school, and authoritative bullying administrators) is simply amazing as well. Though these are new songs, the sound and style of the 80's is captured perfectly in their lyrics and instrumentation. In fact, we loved them so much that we had to add them to our Spotify playlist immediately after the credits rolled and have listened to them dozens of times already.

It is such a crying shame that "Sing Street" did not get a wide release because this is an absolute must see, especially for fans of movies with excellent original music. If you get the chance to see this at a nearby cinema, we highly recommend giving it a watch. This movie will definitely be on our best of the best list come December 2016! Thank you, John Carney, for never making mediocre films and always waiting for the perfect moment to make something truly extraordinary.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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