This is my first official film review from Sundance Film Festival. The last ones you’ve read or skimmed or gazed at the photos were interviews of people who played a major role in bringing those works to life. Sing Street, on the other hand, will have the pleasure of being torn to shreds by moi!
Just kidding. If I hated it, I would politely put it down in a manner that tickles your curiosity enough to spend $6 for a movie ticket, and judge for yourself. But I honestly loved it. I loved every minute of it. The entire time I was rooting for the lead character Conor played by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo because he was adorable, dorky, relatable and real.
Think 1980s Dublin. If my memory serves me correct (I was born in ’86 but remember “I WANT MY MTV” like it was yesterday!) Duran Duran (who are referenced in the film), David Bowie, and U2 were some key players in the stylization of music. They epitomized what it was to be a male musician – sexy women, drugs, and always standing out from the crowds in the world off fashion. Conor who was looking for an escape from his parents marital problems causing undue strain on their home while trying to acclimate himself to a new all-boys school, where a buddy system wouldn’t even be of help for safety, falls for the mysterious girl Raphina. Raphina, played by Lucy Boynton, has the beauty of Sheena Easton with the young stylings of Tiffany meets Cyndi Lauper. She was basically the girl every guy wanted to date at that time.
To win her over, Conor invites her to star in his band’s music video. The only issue is he doesn’t have a band, per se. But since she agrees, he has to put something together, and quick!
By now, you’re thinking this is some sappy, teenage love story. You’re completely wrong! During the premiere at Sundance, the audience was filled with tweens and grandparents. I sat next to a lovely older woman from Canada who was in her 50s, a row in front of us were a gaggle of teens sitting with their parents, and we all laughed at the same parts. It touched upon an era that elders could understand and grasp the context, and plays to the new age of on trend styles, sibling rivalry, and how far we go for teen love.
“For me it was the one way to solve my problems when I was a kid in school, and the only way to get close to a girl,” said writer/director John Carney during the Q+A after the premiere.
Inspired by Carney’s life and love for music, Sing Street is like a cinematic biography of so many people’s lives where music took us away from the true tragedies of our everyday, to a world we created our own endings.
Sing Street opens in Ireland on March 17th, and other release dates are yet to be announced.