I missed Sing Street during its theatrical run, I don’t think it got much publicity here in the United States, but luckily it’s already made its way to Netflix here and I’ve heard it’s worth checking out. What’s the verdict?
We follow a kid named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) as he’s transferred to a new school in Dublin, where he has to adjust to new rules and new friends. It’s set in the 80s and synth pop rock is starting take over the world. Conor meets a mysterious girl (Lucy Boynton) and lies to her that he’s in a band, which means he now has to get a band together in order to impress her. His parents are played by Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Maria Doyle Kennedy, while his older brother is played by Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction).
This movie has a lot of very special qualities. Most importantly, it has heart. Conor’s journey begins fairly predictable enough but it blossoms into a heartfelt story that is much deeper than you’d originally expect, intertwining family and art and passion and friendship. It feels authentic though, perfectly capturing the 80s as a time period. It actually feels like this movie was made then, which is quite a feat.
And the music! Both the soundtrack and the original music are incredible, balancing toe-tapping synth pop hits and some truly beautiful ballads. We’re lucky to have so many movies in 2016 with outstanding soundtracks. I’ve always had a fondness for 80s pop and this movie captures it perfectly.
This movie, beyond just the fun nostalgia and great music, also has a surprising amount of heart and really explores finding your passion, even when the system / your friends / your family / your enemies try to convince you that it’s hopeless. This is a story of rebellion.
The cast is also pretty incredible, considering most of the younger talent hasn’t appeared in feature films before, giving it a great sense of authenticity. I’m not familiar with Dublin but these characters and this setting felt intriguing and like we were truly looking at a real story as it unfolded.
This movie really succeeds on a lot of levels, delivering a fun and poppy adventure on the surface but surprising you with an emotional depth once you’re hooked.
What didn’t work?
Some folks may initially write this movie off because of its poppy covers and adolescent story, so I don’t know if it’ll get any attention come award season. I think it should be in the discussion, so we’ll see.
If you have Netflix, this is a no-brainer. Sing Street is full of heart, poppy songs, and great performances. It’s a look into another place and time that should intrigue most of you and it’s executed flawlessly, seeming incredibly authentic. It’s a shame this movie didn’t gain more attention in the United States but it’s not too late.