Running Time: 1 hr 46 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13
No one has faith in the power of music quite like John Carney does. The filmmaker, who’s also a musician himself, built a delicate love story in his breakout hit Once as a struggling street busker and a Czech flower seller made bittersweet music together. In his irresistibly crowd-pleasing new movie Sing Street, Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), a teenager in 1980s Dublin, attempts the reverse, starting a band in order to impress a girl — Raphina (Lucy Boynton), an aspiring model and group home resident who he’s promised will star in their music videos.
Theirs is a charming budding romance, but Cosmo’s plunge into high school would-be rock-stardom is even more winning, as he and his recruits go from being a cover band to one writing original tunes, trying out different and totally era-appropriate looks as they go. The film captures the earnestness and the silliness of the boys’ efforts, but also how little that matters when you’re discovering what it feels like to create something — especially when the ache of your parents’ on-the-rocks marriage and the bullies at school can become more fuel for your work. And as Cosmo’s stalled-out, stoner older brother Brendan, a source of solace and rock ‘n’ roll knowledge, Jack Reynor steals the movie.