October 22: Sing Street
English 105 minutes
Principal Cast: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen
Irish writer-director John Carney refreshed and revitalized the film musical with the Oscar-winning Once and his follow-up Begin Again. With his new film Sing Street, Carney takes us to 1980s Dublin for a semi-autobiographical tale about a teenager who turns to music to escape his chaotic home life — and, naturally, to impress a girl.
Forced to start over at a rough public school when his parents pull him from private school due to their financial struggles, 14-year-old Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) becomes enamoured of the beautiful and mysterious Raphina (Lucy Boynton). Eager to make an impression, Conor invites Raphina to star in his band’s music video — despite the fact that he has not yet formed a band, or even written any music. With the guidance of his drop-out older brother, Conor restyles himself as “Cosmo,” recruits some enthusiastic but musically untrained schoolmates, and sets out to make a band from scratch by studying and emulating the New Wave stars of the era like A-ha, Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet. Soon, the ragtag group is shooting music videos on a less-than-shoestring budget and looking to wow their fellow students at the upcoming school ball — and meanwhile, Cosmo starts making progress in his quest to win Raphina’s heart.
Featuring a stellar soundtrack that mixes nostalgic hits and original music, Sing Street combines the scrappy energy of 2013 Film Circuit favourite We Are the Best! with the sweetness and charm of a coming-of-age love story. As with the director’s previous hits, Carney’s latest is sure to have audiences cheering and singing along once again.
Sing Street makes you feel like you’re growing up all over again. —Ethan Anderson, Slashfilm