This scrappy Irish rock film sings a sweet tune of determination and optimism.
John Carney, the director of crowd pleasing, music themed indies “Once” and “Begin Again,” follows his heart for cinematic heart exploring this passion with his latest movie “Sing Street.” He solidifies himself as a reliable director who makes high quality and high spirited movies about people connecting and falling in love with music. With summer movie season about to bombard us, this is a lovely, plucky, character driven alternative to those loud, big blockbusters. It couldn’t have arrived during a more perfect time!
Basic plot: Due to his financially struggling family, Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) has to transfer to a more affordable school. He finds hardship transitioning to the rigid Catholic school where he is targeted by bullies (both peers and school administrators). He is motivated to start a band after telling an alluring and confident woman named Raphina (Lucy Boynton) he is a musician. Frantic for band mates and in need of practice. His slacker brother Brendan (Jack Reynor) warns him, “Rock n roll is a risk. You risk being ridiculed.”
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Story, etc.) – 4
“Sing Street” is a little conventional and somewhat predictable, but the storytelling and individual scenes are engaging. Band practice was a lot of fun and garners big laughs. Regardless watching them play is a hoot and the movie consistently where’s it gritty Irish heart on its sleeve. The performances were pretty good, but the best was Jack Reynor who reminded me of a cross between (a low key) Chris Pratt with elements of Heath Ledger. I hope he becomes a breakout actor after “Sing Street.” The story takes us to places I didn’t expect. The awkwardness and vulnerability of this age shines through during certain scenes especially involving Cosmo attending his new school. The pacing of the movie is where it needs to be: not too fast to alienate older audiences, but maintains a very good rhythm to engage younger people.
Entertainment Value – 5
Absolutely! So entertaining! Where to start with this one?! “Sing Street” is a text book definition of a crowd-pleaser; happy, engaging, and fulfilling. Music movies do not get more entertaining than “Sing Street” or movies period. The music is catchy and embodies the era of big hair and bold energy. Audiences sing along and root for the characters while laughing at the funny jokes and one-liners. Without giving anything away, the ending was near perfect. I adored the final scene of this movie and was even fighting tears myself. It was about living your dreams and following through on those plans. It will inspire people who watch it. Likewise, the crowd will be emotionally invested in what happens within the story line.
Re-Watchability – 4.5
I wanted to re-watch “Sing Street” immediately after it ended. And not only watch, but I wanted to listen to the soundtrack. Like “Begin Again” and even “Whiplash,” I added the soundtrack to my Spotify playlist immediately. The catchy big song from “Sing Street” “Drive It Like You Stole It” was stuck in my head days later. It will have a lasting impression among movie goers. I could even see “Sing Street” achieving cult status being quoted and played during special screenings at Landmarks and Alamos across the country. Think of it as “The Commitments” for Millennials (and fans of the 1991 movie will dig this one, too.) Fun fact: Penny in “Sing Street,” played by Maria Doyle Kennedy, was in “The Commitments.” This will be a classic that plays very well after multiple viewings for movie fans and music lovers to cherish.
Listen for yourself!
Mixing a goofy charm, defined characters, 80s nostalgia, catchy tunes, and a fun loving vibe, "Sing Street" infuses Irish grit and a cheerful tone that gushes with optimism. Welcome to your new favorite movie.