ADiff review: John Carney brings the musical magic in Sing Street

The director even manages to sell an absurdly romantic ending

Sing Street
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Director: John Carney
Cert: Club
Genre: Musical
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen
Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins

The Savoy, Thursday 18th, 7pm, 106 min

With Once, Begin Again and now Sing Street, John Carney has honed his own fecund genre: a young person finds release through the agency of song. This time, in a heavily autobiographical tale, Carney introduces us to a middle-class teenager (superhumanly relaxed newcomer Walsh-Peelo), who, when his parents fall on hard times in the 1980s, is sent to the rough-edged Synge Street School in south Dublin. His involvement with a band helps him to win friends and charm the girl of his dreams (Boynton). Shot on location near the real school, the film has surface grit, but it is every bit as at home to transcendence as the great Hollywood musicals. The band almost immediately creates a pitch-perfect hybrid of late New Romanticism and pop-goth. The ending is daringly, absurdly romantic. That Carney closes the deal on this difficult sell is something of a miracle. A perfect opener to the Audi Dublin International Film Festival.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist