In honor of it being St. Patrick’s Day I figured that a review on my favorite Irish film seemed appropriate. Last year I was introduced to Sing Street, a movie I didn’t expect to enjoy, but landed up loving it enough for it be crowned my #1 movie of 2016. While most people were losing their mind over how fantastic La La Land was (rightfully so), I always maintained the opinion that Sing Street was the superior music based movie.
Sing Street is essentially a coming of age story of a teenager named Conor who tries to find his voice, and eventually does it through a band that he forms. Oh and there’s also a girl named Raphina involved in the story because what kind of movie would this be if there wasn’t a girl, right? Yeah I thought so.
This movie moved me because of how it progresses. While I dislike most musical films because they use annoying music to carry the movie along, Sing Street does the exact opposite. Every song you hear played is a reflection of the story that’s unfolding. They’re personal to the characters involved and that gives the music a lot more weight. There’s also a clear progression of how good the band is. Their first song is basic and it’s a pretty messy sounding song altogether. But by the time we get to the end and hear “Drive it Like You Stole It” the band sounds like a well oiled machine.
Relationships are also a big part of Sing Street’s charm. I’m not talking exclusively about Conor’s relationship with Raphina, or even Conor’s relationship with the band. Those are key pieces for sure, but the most captivating relationship is between Conor and his family, specifically his brother Brendan. It’s rare that I see a relationship between brothers that comes across as genuine as it is between these two. Brendan is the older brother and he helps Conor become a better musician despite the short comings in his own life. He’s fully supportive yet plays more of a role than just being a plot device for Conor’s progression. There is one scene in particular between the brothers that is one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. It’s emotionally gripping in a bittersweet kind of way. You’ll know the scene the second you see it.
The performances in the movie were unexpectedly great. Most of this cast is comprised of younger actors who have the ability to actually play instruments. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as Conor is fantastic. He can sing and play the instruments well. He also delivers on every emotional scene in the movie. Lucy Boynton as Raphina does her job well too. A lot of this movie rides on the chemistry between these two actors. We have to buy their growing relationship to really be invested in the other aspects of the film. My favorite performance in the movie was actually Jack Reynor as Brendan. He was fantastic as this music coach for Conor. He was also someone who opened Conor’s eyes to things he was oblivious to. Plus there’s that scene that I mentioned before. I really do like it.
Other than the relationships in the film, the music has to be good to keep us connected. I mentioned earlier that the progression of the music is what really fascinated me. The songs themselves are also fantastic. There wasn’t a single track that played in this movie that didn’t have me excited. The music had passion and energy. The lyrics were also meaningful and relevant to the situations going on. My favorite track is easily “Drive it Like You Stole It” and I think it was good enough for an Oscar nomination. I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but I think it should have been nominated and won the best original song category. It’s the song that sums up the entirety of the movie. A culmination of everything that transpired up until that point. It’s empowering for Conor to sing it, and it’s infectious. I find myself humming it at random times during the day because of how catchy it is. The scene where they perform the song is done as part of daydream that Conor has. It’s Conor’s idealistic view of what should happen while the band performs the. This emphasizes the importance of it in his mind and through that it became a lot more important to me.
Overall, Sing Street is one of my favorite movies of all time. I loved every second of the movie and have rewatched it several times since. The acting and music are both fantastic, and the exploration of the relationships are done very well. On top of all of that, this movie has a message. It tells people who have a dream to go out and there and do it, and do it your way. The people who truly care about you will encourage you on that path. Oh and the music is amazing…did I say that already? Because it’s true. “Drive it Like You Stole It” is a song I listen to a lot now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Sing Street gets a 100/100 and is awarded the title of…