Sing Street

TV3’s movie ex­pert Kate Rodger tunes in to some nos­tal­gia from the 1980s.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - ENTERTAINMENT -

STAR­RING FERDIA WALSH-PEELO, LUCY BOYNTON AND JACK REYNOR. DI­RECTED BY JOHN CAR­NEY.

Ir­ish film­maker John Car­ney won our hearts in 2007 with his gor­geous lit­tle love story Once, a film he shot over a few weeks on a cou­ple of cam­corders on the streets of Dublin. The film also won an Os­car for Best Orig­i­nal Song (for the film’s gen­tle an­them Fall­ing Slowly) and kick-started Car­ney’s film-mak­ing ca­reer. He re­turned to his mu­si­cal roots last year with the New York-based Be­gin Again, and now he’s back on home turf with Sing Street.

Any­one with even the vaguest mem­o­ries of the 1980s will find joy here, but if you were a teenager then, there are mo­ments when you may feel trans­ported by timema­chine to your youth, a time-ma­chine blar­ing out Du­ran Du­ran, The Cure and Hall & Oates from the tape recorder. With more stone-washed denim, big hair and blue eye­shadow than should be legally per­mit­ted on the big screen, Sing Street is at once an ode to the 80s. But fear not, this is so much more than just nos­tal­gic fancy-dress to mu­sic. Sing Street is a love story. It’s first love and broth­erly love bound to­gether with the mu­sic they love, en­tirely lack­ing in pre­ten­sion and a de­light to watch.

Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is an awk­ward teenager who moves schools as his par­ents’ mar­riage dis­in­te­grates around him. He im­me­di­ately at­tracts the at­ten­tion of the school bully, the school head­mas­ter and the school nerd. He off­sets that tri­fecta of trou­ble by at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of the beau­ti­ful girl who lives across the road. When Raphina (Lucy Boynton) tells him she’s a model, he im­me­di­ately in­vites her to be in the mu­sic video he’s mak­ing with his band. Which of course means he must im­me­di­ately form a band. This mis­sion is fraught from the get-go. He has no friends, he doesn’t play any in­stru­ments, and he doesn’t know what kind of mu­sic he likes.

But Conor is in love, and it’s amaz­ing what you can over­come when you’re in love. With help from his pot-head older brother Bren­dan, Conor morphs into Cosmo, em­brac­ing ev­ery 80s genre from pop to rock to goth to new-wave, each lead­ing to a new sound, new hair­cuts and new out­fits.

Mostly pop­u­lated by new­com­ers, ris­ing Ir­ish star Jack Reynor ( Trans­form­ers: Age of Ex­tinc­tion/A Royal Night Out), Maria Doyle Kennedy ( The Com­mit­ments/Jupiter As­cend­ing) and Ai­den Gillen ( The Dark Knight Rises/Game of Thrones) are the recog­nis­able faces here, but the film be­longs firmly to Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, with his merry band of mis­fits ably in sup­port.

At one point the older brother wisely in­tones to his love-sick sib­ling: “No wo­man can truly love a man who lis­tens to Phil Collins.” Just one of the many mo­ments in this film which left me laugh­ing out loud as my heart sang with fil­ial joy.

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