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Sing Street (2016)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 17 March 2016 (Ireland)
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A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

Director:

John Carney

Writers:

Simon Carmody (story), John Carney (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,136 ( 169)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo ... Conor
Kelly Thornton ... Ann
Maria Doyle Kennedy ... Penny
Jack Reynor ... Brendan
Aidan Gillen ... Robert
Ian Kenny ... Barry
Ben Carolan Ben Carolan ... Darren
Percy Chamburuka Percy Chamburuka ... Ngig
Mark McKenna ... Eamon
Don Wycherley Don Wycherley ... Brother Baxter
Des Keogh Des Keogh ... Brother Barnabas
Kian Murphy Kian Murphy ... Mick Mahon
Dolores Mullally Dolores Mullally ... Dinner Lady
Lucy Boynton ... Raphina
Marcella Plunkett ... Eamon's Mum
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Storyline

As everybody moves to the beat of Pop music in early-1980s-Dublin, the sensitive teenager, Conor, struggles to cope with a tense family relationship; reconnect with his older brother, Brendan, and, above all, deal with the hostile environment in his new public school. Then, one day, he sees her. Tall, with long chestnut hair, a buttery complexion, and big, dark eyes; an enigmatically beautiful girl standing in front of the school's gate, indolently observing people passing by. To get noticed by the distant girl, Raphina, Conor enlists the help of a group of teenage dreamers to form a band--and, surprisingly--with every lyric he writes, the gap narrows, and with every song he plays, her heart brims with affection. Now, before a sea of opportunities, what does the future hold for a brave love like this? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Boy meets girl. Girl unimpressed. Boy starts band.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including strong language and some bullying behavior, a suggestive image, drug material and teen smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English | French | Latin

Release Date:

17 March 2016 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Sing Street See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,573, 17 April 2016

Gross USA:

$3,237,118

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,624,522
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1985. See more »

Goofs

During the music video they film in the school, Cosmo mentions the movie Back to the Future; however, Sing Street is based in 1985 and Back to the Future was not released until 20 December 1985 in Ireland. With the time frame of this movie and no indication of him seeing Back to the Future during this time, it makes no sense for him to be aware of what it is. See more »

Quotes

Brendan: Think big, Conor. This is just a means to an end. And she looks amazing. She's got to be in all the videos.
Conor: Yeah?
Brendan: Oh, yeah. She's world class. Without her, you're just a bunch of gay-looking kids down an alleyway.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Brothers Everywhere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Escape (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Inbetween Days
Written by Robert Smith
Performed by The Cure
Published by Fiction Songs Ltd
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Group and Polydor UK Ltd
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Irresistibly Charming
16 May 2016 | by bkrauser-81-311064See all my reviews

There's nothing quite like the creative process. We've all had that feeling; unfolding with all its frenzied excitement, malleable thoughts and brainstorms and inventive problem-solving. Yet creativity isn't just limited to what music you make, what stories you write, what paintings you paint. Flexing the limits of your creativity is almost like a window into your identity. Do you look for the easy fix, do you power through despite mental blocks, do you try the unexpected or bend towards an originality or an universality. So it goes with Sing Street, a movie that expands the notion of creativity itself, making an unabashedly and irresistibly charming film.

Conor Lalor (Walsh-Peelo) and his family live in a charmed dwelling overlooking the urban sprawl of South side Dublin. Due to financial strain, Conor is informed that he's being taken out of his private Jesuit high school and being transferred to a public school nearby. At first, things go miserably. He's hassled by bullies, called names openly in class and harangued by the school's principal Father Baxter (Wycherley). His only solace is watching new wave music videos with his older brother Brendan (Reynor). Things change however with the appearance of the mysterious and strikingly beautiful Raphina (Boynton) who stands on the stoop outside the school. He approaches her and asks her to be in a music video; she agrees. Next step: start a band.

Conor quickly makes friends with a gaggle of outcasts from the school in order to haphazardly start, build and maintain a fledgling little group. Among them is the multi-talented Eamon (McKenna) who can not only play multiple instruments but can put Conor's lyrics to song. It is the moments between these two young artists that best exemplifies the movie's central theme. We share with them the 4am feeling of unbounded imaginative bliss as they riff off each other, clean up their chords and rhythms and ask each other the meaning behind the songs they write. Because of Eamon's father's vocation as a covers band leader, the band not only has a place to practice but instruments to play which benefits the rest of the players as they develop their sound.

Conor uses his band not only for the purpose of wooing the girl but also as a means to escape his increasingly turbulent home life. The marriage between his mother (Doyle Kennedy) and father (Gillen) circles the drain as his dropout brother smokes hash and oozes cynicism and unrealized potential. In one moment of investigation, Brendan points to the mother who sits on the stoop, smoking a cigarette, hoping to catch the last rays of sunshine of the day. With big talk of some day going to Paris, the mother settles on these moments to sulk in bitter reflection. "I cleared a path for you." Brendan says in a moment of defeat. Seems his carefully curated collection of vinyl and his grimacing observations serve as a counterpoint to encourage Conor's brazen dreams.

Yet it's the girl who pushes Conor to the point of unique creative verisimilitude. And as the would-be model that captures the heart of our young hero, Lucy Boynton is an absolute vision. She coyly hints at gigs and glamour in London yet she lives at an all girls boarding house and dates a guy who listens to Genesis. Yet despite outward moments of confident sashaying, behind the makeup and denim there beats the heart of a true romantic and a true creative conduit. "When it comes to art, you never go halfway." she says just after she throws herself into the Irish Sea for the sake of a good video. This moment is immediately followed by Conor responding in kind.

And yes this movie is about a new wave band in the 1980's, so yes there is a lot of hair, makeup, posh scarf wearing and mod style bravado. While today we like to take potshots at the synth-pop aesthetic, there's still something utterly charming about the way it is presented here. Is it nostalgia; probably. Yet there's an unawareness to it, allowing the audience to discover (or re-discover) the trappings of 80's popular music in real time. The excitement Brendan and Conor feel in watching Duran Duran's Rio music video is infectious, and the original songs by the band are easily the best thing about Sing Street.

Conor eventually finds a since of identity within the catchy rhythms of his songs, the jejune charms of Raphina and the kindliness of Brendan's brotherly love. The moments of kitchen sink realism serves not only as a cautionary tale to Conor but to us as well. When we refuse ourselves the rewards of creativity we risk becoming embittered, angry and resentful. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "Go into the arts. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow." To put it another way, go create something.


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