I loved Writer/Director John Carney’s two prior films (“Once” and “Begin Again”), and “Sing Street” is another terrific rock musical. The film is set in Dublin in 1985, and the economy there is very poor. Conor’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) family is having serious problems. His parents aren’t getting along, and money is so tight that his father had to take him out of private school. His older brother, Brendan (Jack Reynor), is a rock maven. One way Brendan and Conor escape from their dreary lives is to listen to rock records and watch music videos (which have only recently emerged on the scene).
Conor is attracted to a pretty girl, Raphina (Lucy Boynton), who hangs outside of her house right across the street from his new school. Conor has the guts to walk over and talk to her. She tells him that she is a model. To spark her interest, Conor invites Raphina to star in the music video that his rock band is making. (The minor fact that Conor doesn’t have a band or even play an instrument yet doesn’t seem to faze him!)
You guessed it, with the support of a new friend and encouragement and guidance from his brother, Conor forms a band, learns to play the guitar, composes songs with a bandmember friend, and makes several music videos, starring none other than Raphina!
The film is often funny, but has considerable depth, with themes of brothers, friendship, hope, young love, the power and magic of music, and having the courage to take the risks necessary to give your dreams a chance to come true.
Most of the original songs have good hooks, and, like Carney’s other two films, this one is a warm-hearted, feel-good movie. The acting by the three leads is excellent too.
This is my favorite film of 2016 so far.