Monday, January 02, 2017

Movie Monday: Sing Street

My husband and I enjoyed a quiet night at home on New Year's Eve, while our sons went to parties. We were having trouble choosing a movie and looking mostly at thrillers (my husband's favorite) when I spotted Sing Street on Netflix. I'd heard great things about this movie, and my husband said he'd rather watch something light and uplifting than something dark and disturbing to start the new year. This one hit the mark! Sing Street is a wonderful drama/comedy about teen boys starting a band in Ireland in the 1980's.

Life at home is hard and getting harder for Conor, a fifteen-year old boy in Dublin in 1985. His parents are constantly yelling at each other, his older brother dropped out of college and stays in his room most of the time, and now his parents have told him he needs to switch schools for financial reasons. He starts at Synge Street school, a public school run by priests, and runs into trouble the very first day, first with a priest who insists that black shoes are required with the school uniform and later with a bully. The only bright spot is that he meets a new friend, Darren.

Walking home, Conor meets the beautiful Raphina, a mysterious girl who says she is a model. Since music videos are all the rage, and Conor has been watching them with his older brother, he tells Raphina he is making a music video with his band and says they need a model to appear in it. With a little encouragement, Raphina agrees. Now all Conor needs is a band.

Conor and Darren post a notice at school and round up three other boys with some musical talent for their band, which they call Sing Street. Conor plays the guitar and sings. At first, they try imitating popular bands, but Conor's brother encourages him to try creating their own unique style. Conor and another band member, Eamon, work together to write songs, and the band practices. They film their first music video on the street after school one day, starring Raphina, and using styles and methods picked up from watching music videos on TV (to great amusement for the audience!). As they practice, both their music and their videos get better and better. Meanwhile, Conor is falling in love with Raphina, though she seems to have an older boyfriend.

This movie is a lot of fun, with some laughs and some serious moments, too. The music is great, with hits by Duran Duran, The Clash, The Cure, and other top groups of the mid-80's, as well as some excellent songs by Sing Street, who are surprisingly talented once they get going. I plan to listen to the soundtrack! The actors are all very good (though we occasionally had a bit of trouble with the Irish accents). It was just what we wanted on New Year's Eve - fun, upbeat, funny, and even moving. You'll root for Conor and his band to succeed on all fronts.

Sing Street is currently available for free on Netflix, on DVD, or for $3.99 to rent on Amazon Prime (link below).



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