*** ½ out of four
Yet again, John Carney, the filmmaker behind Once and Begin Again, delivers a wonderful, affecting feel-good musical. Sing Street takes place in Dublin of 1985 where 14-year-old Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) dreams of music stardom while dealing with his mom and dad's strained relationship, and also being transferred to a rough-and-tumble inner-city public school. Giving him that spark he need to put his plans in motion is when he becomes smitten with cool beauty Raphina (the absolutely luminous Lucy Boynton) and is determined to steal her heart. He begins by getting a band together made up of his schoolmates and casting Raphina in their music video.
Sing Street is not only a story of realizing dreams, but also about broken dreams and how one's sorrow can help another. This comes in the form of Conor's stoner slacker of an older brother, Brendan (Jack Reynor). He is stagnant in his own life, but he is the one who teaches Conor about good music.
Like he did in his previous musicals, Carney has an amazing scene where you see and hear a song being created. As Conor begins to sing, the camera slowly pans around the room as each member of his band beings to play their instrument until they all are playing and the song truly comes to life. There is also a wonderful – and hilarious – 1950s school dance fantasy sequence late in the film.
Sing Street is joyous. It's a perfect example of the wondrous power of music...and movies.