Hit­ting all the right notes

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

SING STREET (M)

Di­rec­tor: John Car­ney Star­ring: Fer­dia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Ai­dan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy Ver­dict: Some boys, a girl, a band and a bond

THE point of Sing Street – a funny, en­gag­ing and wholly en­ter­tain­ing af­fair – is that there is only one thing bet­ter in this world than be­ing young and about to fall in love.

And that is to be young and about to fall in love twice.

The 15-year-old hero of Sing Street, a Dublin teen named Conor (Fer­dia Walsh-Peelo), only has eyes for Raphina (Lucy Boynton), an as­pir­ing model who lives in his neigh­bour­hood.

She isn’t re­turn­ing his gaze as yet, but a boy can dream, right?

Just as im­por­tantly, Conor only has ears for mu­sic. It is the mid-1980s, and the chance view­ing of a mu­sic video by Du­ran Du­ran in­spires Conor to form a band and start writ­ing songs ASAP.

There is no venue to play at, and lit­tle chance any­one will hear his tunes, but a boy can keep on dreaming, right?

Too right. And get­ting it right is some­thing Sing Street ex­cels at through­out.

It might look and feel like just an­other com­ing-of-age, find­ing-of­tal­ent

af­fair, but there is some­thing a lit­tle ex­tra in play here that takes the film well be­yond its mod­est am­bi­tions.

Writer-di­rec­tor John Car­ney has been ex­pertly fus­ing mu­sic, ro­mance and ir­re­sistibly direct sto­ry­telling for al­most a decade now with films such as Once and Be­gin Again.

This is un­doubt­edly his best and most ac­ces­si­ble ef­fort to date, thanks pri­mar­ily to Car­ney’s canny cast­ing of a bunch of com­plete un­knowns, and the en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm all in­volved have poured into the pro­duc­tion.

Car­ney’s heart­felt depiction of his Dublin home­town of decades past is equally vi­tal in main­tain­ing Sing Street’s non-stop charm of­fen­sive.

So­cial and eco­nomic con­di­tions in the city at the time didn’t ex­actly make it the eas­i­est place to be grow­ing up. Nev­er­the­less, Conor and his fledg­ling band­mates push on re­gard­less, de­ter­mined to craft a reper­toire that they say is all about “find­ing hap­pi­ness in sad­ness”.

That they do so by fus­ing the un­re­lent­ing gloom of an act such as The Cure with the in­con­gru­ous glam­our of Span­dau Bal­let makes Conor’s artis­tic awak­en­ing all the more risky, re­bel­lious and amus­ing.

Not only is this un­pol­ished gem of a film guar­an­teed to move you. Just like ev­ery favourite song you’ve ever had, it will get you mov­ing as well.

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