Sing Street was the second movie I saw in 2017 and I fell in love with its music oriented love story, self discovery and coming of age plot set in the 80’s. There are a few well known actors, yet all the main characters are unknown teenagers who did an amazing job at capturing the spirit of the youth and the magic of music.
Written and directed by John Carney, the man behind Begin Again and Once, Sing Street is yet another amazing addition to the list of movies about music. Carney just knows how to bring to life a story that is elevated by music, and the combination of characters he creates is always special. But there’s something extra amazing about creating a movie in the 80’s, with teenagers, because it’s nostalgic and brings back memories of times we might have forgotten.
I was born in the late 80’s and even though I wasn’t much of a music buff growing up, there’s still that part of me that enjoys the music from the 80’s and 90’s. It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure many of you understand what I’m talking about. It’s not something that we can say about music from the 21st century, because this new music doesn’t appeal to that part of our brain where we keep our childhood memories. Which is why I think Sing Street appealed to me so much, it was a connection to the past and it managed to create new content for an era that’s over 30 years old.
Like I said, the soundtrack was a mix of good old classics and brand new material, but it felt coherent and all the new songs were catchy and inspirational. The fact that it didn’t receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for Drive It Like You Stole It is such a shame. Just because it isn’t La La Land (which I still haven’t watched) or Justin Timberlake, doesn’t mean it’s any less important! But oh well, who am I to discuss this, when I haven’t seen any of the movies featuring the Best Original Song nominations… but I still think Drive It Like You Stole It should have been among them.
I’ve spent three paragraphs talking about the music, but it’s not the only part of Sing Street that was great. There is also the story itself. We have Conor (Fredia Walsh-Peelo), our main character, who asks this very pretty girl if she wants to be in a music video for his band, and when she agrees, sets out to create said band! What he ends up with is a mixed set of young guys, including Eamon (Mark McKenna), who he starts co-writing songs with but not after getting some pointers from his brother Brendan (Jack Reynor). So at its core, Sing Street is a story of getting the girl, and it’s sort of a love story created through music. It is simple, beautiful and just a little tragic – just like young love should be. And most importantly, while Conor was sweet and a little nerdy, he was actually quite brave and a little rebellious as well, which makes him the perfect character to root for!
If I had one criticism towards the movie, it’s that the age difference between Conor and Raphina (Lucy Boynton) somehow felt a lot bigger than it was supposed to be. I can’t but my finger on it, I know the actress is 5 years older, but she felt 10 years senior to Conor and maybe that’s what was putting me off a little. I kept thinking they look more like brother and sister than supposed boy and girl slowly falling in love. And it’s not a criticism towards their acting, no, I thought they both did a wonderful job, it’s just.. It’s like Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in that upcoming Valerian movie – they just have that sibling vibe.
That being said, I really liked Sing Street, I loved the way it made me feel and I like listening to Drive It Like You Stole It every now and then, mostly to throw myself back into that magical era of the 80’s. I liked how the visuals were strong and it never felt like anything else than an 80’s movie. The self-made music videos the boys created were adorable, and the school dance was just the right amount of badass that I couldn’t help to laugh! But I also cried just a little bit and I was happy and sad but most importantly, I was filled with nostalgic pride.