Okay, I’m bringing this in at less than 300 words, so there’ll be none of my usual point-belaboring: Sing Street is the new movie by John Carney, who directed the pretty great Once in 2007, and the not-so-great Begin Again in 2013. Once was great partially because of the filming-by-the-seat-of-my-pants/no-stars-musicians-pretending-to-be-actors/quasi-documentary feel of the movie. Begin Again was a frothy, big-budget Hollywood mess of a movie starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo – both of whom I really like – but they just didn’t work in the music biz tale to be told. Too much glitzy rom-com action, not enough heart. (Plus the songs written for the movie sucked.)
Sing Street returns Carney to his roots of shooting on the streets of Dublin, Ireland with a cast of unknown kids, and the result is maybe my second-favorite rock & roll movie – after Almost Famous – of all time. (I realize that’s a Big Hype Statement that might backfire on me, but I’m gonna chance it. I love this movie.) (Previous contenders for second fave r&r movie: 1991's The Commitments and 1978's Cotton Candy.)
The story couldn’t be simpler: a nerdy 15 year old singer/songwriter kid in a new, rough school develops a crush on a 16 year old neighborhood girl with modeling aspirations and asks if she’d like to be in a music video. She says “Yes” and said kid has to write a song, form a band and shoot a video by that Saturday. And then various other rock & roll-ness ensues.
Simple, priceless, beautiful, charming, heartfelt: go see it. – Ricki C. / May 13th, 2016
(ps. Keep in mind: the band that gets formed in Sing Street is Irish kids with guitars essentially playing English synth-pop, my third least favorite sub-genre of music after bluegrass and reggae, and I still love the movie. Now THAT’S film-making.)
Sing Street is playing at AMC Easton Town Center 30, Lennox Town Center 24, Marcus Crosswoods Cinema and the Gateway Film Center just south of campus.