Sometimes, a movie just sneaks up on me out of nowhere, and takes me by surprise. That’s what happened to me with Begin Again (2013), now one of my favourite movies. Then, a Tumblr blog brought my attention to the song from Once (2007), Falling Slowly, a song I eventually walked down the aisle to on my wedding day. Both movies were written and directed by John Carney, now a legend in my eyes, so how Sing Street got released without my knowing is beyond me!
Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is having a rough time. His family life isn’t great, his parents (Aidan Gillen & Maria Doyle Kennedy) are struggling for money and arguing relentlessly, and to save money, Connor is forced to move schools. After a disturbing confrontation with the school’s resident bully, he finally makes a friend in Darren (Ben Carolan). Whilst chatting to Darren outside the school gates, he spots a beautiful girl. Determined to impress her, he tells her he’s in a band and needs a model for their music video. The girl, Raphina (Lucy Boynton) agrees, leaving Connor with the task of putting a band together and actually making some music.
The first third of the movie is spent introducing the rest of the cast as the band is formed, they’re a rag tag bunch, but highly likeable. Sadly we don’t hear much from a lot of them, but Eamon (Mark McKenna) helps Connor write the music and the two have great chemistry together. This is the first major movie credit for a lot of the cast which is hard to believe at times, they’re all so talented. Mark McKenna stood out the most, but I couldn’t shake it from my head how much he reminded me of Corey Feldman from Stand By Me!
Sing Street is set in the 80’s, and obviously the music choices and inspiration is all gained from popular bands from this era. I was just about born in the 80’s myself, but never really was a fan of the music. It was off putting to begin with, but as the boys put together their own original songs, I got the same warm fuzzy feeling that I had with Once and Begin Again, and I loved it every moment after. The story isn’t new, but it’s done so well that comparing it to others is pointless, because Sing Street is better.
It’s just such a beautiful movie. Watching Conner and the gang’s person styles change as the movie went on, and some of the shots of Ireland were stunning. It made me realise just how beautiful the countryside, and even the villages themselves, can be. There’s a lot in this movie actually that made me feel warm and happy inside, and the ending did, too. In fact, I’m not even sure what happened, but once the credits started and stated that the movie was ‘dedicated to brothers everywhere’ I even shed a few happy tears. Maybe it was just the summer heat getting to me.
I’ve decided now that I’ll follow John Carney anywhere and everywhere, in the movie sense at least. That’s another soundtrack I need asap.