One More Tune – ★★★★★
John Carney has created another modern day musical classic in Sing Street. Not merely tapping into the 80s nostalgia wave that is endlessly sweeping most cultural mediums he has captured a beautiful coming of age tale that at it’s heart is a film about brothers. Superb acting from both children and adults, relatable characters and stellar songs make a strong case for Sing Street as film of the year.
Conor’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) parents have fallen foul of the recession and therefore can’t afford to send him to private school anymore. Instead he has to attend Synge Street CBS and adapt pretty sharply to his new environment. Unaccustomed to thugs, bullies and the Christian brothers, he has to find a way to survive and he does this through music. As with most things teenage boys do it’s all an attempt to woo a girl. Said girl is Raphina (Lucy Boynton) who Conor notices hanging out beside the school. Agreeing to get her to appear in one of his unformed band’s videos means he has to act fast making him enlist the help of Darren (Ben Carolan). Together they scour the school in an attempt to cobble together a passable band.
This is when we encounter Eamon (Mark McKenna) a maestro of every musical instrument imaginable. Together Conor and Eamon become their own Lennon and McCartney crafting pop gold in their bedrooms. Under the tutelage of Conor’s older brother Brendan (Jack Reynor) Conor is opened up to a world he never knew existed, The Cure, The Jam, The Clash and David Bowie. This provides one of the films funniest montages as Conor and the band enter the school grounds fashioning the styles of their latest heroes.
The film beautifully weaves all the back stories; abuse in all it forms, family dysfunctions with growing pains to give the film a great depth and sense of worth. It is very much rooted in a sense of Irishness and Dublin but is influenced by the American teen classics, daring to dream big. We see this in the climax of the film which some may find corny but is the perfect crescendo. John Carney is the outstanding conductor of this well tuned orchestra. He knows when to linger, speed up, pull on our heart strings and wet our eyes. Encore.
Sing Street opens Friday the18th of March