Review: “Sing Street”



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Posted July 16, 2016 by

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Anyone who has seen writer/director John Carney’s films “Once” or “Begin Again” should have a pretty good idea what he is about. He clearly loves (and has a good ear for) music. He also enjoys using music as a vehicle to tell a heartfelt, emotional roller coaster of a story. The way his characters seem to feel all of their emotion through the music they are making is a beautiful story-telling mechanism. Well, it would appear that he has reached a pinnacle with his newest film “Sing Street”. A movie with all of the ingredients (and powerful performances) of his former projects, “Sing Street” is a soaring accomplishment of film making.

sing street 2Cosmo (Walsh-Peelo) is a teenager, living a bleak, downtrodden existence in 1985 Dublin, Ireland. His family is falling apart and, because of financial woes, his parents put him in a catholic school that will save them money. With bullies immediately singling him out, and his parents on the verge of an ugly separation, he decides to form a band as a way to escape his life and maybe even a daunting future. As with most youthful endeavors, Cosmo’s determination to form a successful band stems from the love he feels for a seemingly unattainable girl (Boynton). Fortunately for him, he is very talented and finds the perfect group of class mates to accompany him on his musical journey.

The music is out of this world excellent, the emotions are powerful (I actually teared up a bit which almost never happens), and the acting is superb. Walsh-Peelo and Lucy Boynton are so damn good as the star-crossed lovers, but it is Jack Reynor, as Cosmo’s older brother Brendan, that gives an Oscar-worthy (in my humble opinion) performance. He steals every scene he is in, and has an enormous effect on the central emotions of the story. One scene, in particular, has Brendan giving Cosmo an impassioned speech about how he wants to change his life for the better, because he sees his younger brother taking life by the reigns.

sing street 3With a perfectly balanced script, and an emotionally honest message, Carney has created a film that is nearly perfect in every way. I remember seeing “Once” with my wife and telling her I could see the director being a one hit wonder. Well… I putting my foot in my mouth, and saying he may have just made the best film of 2016. It is certainly a film that everyone, regardless of taste in movies, should see and will probably love. Bravo!




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