In Sing Street, Phil Collins takes a hit — “no woman can truly love a man who listens to Phil Collins” says a friend trying to help out lovestruck teen Conor. It’s helpful advice, since Conor’s trying to win the girl and determine just what kind of rock star he might to be. But barbs like the Collins jab don’t stand a chance against the humor and the feelgood in John Carney‘s lush film. It’s Billy Elliot in rock and roll pants — and the Weinstein Brothers must have been licking their chops when they got hold of it.
The emotional, root-for-a-hero formula is can’t miss with the added bonus of the 1980s (no iPhones — just people forced to be with people who are actually in the room with them), rough Dublin, great accents, young love, a stirring beauty (Lucy Boynton — watch out, world, for Lucy Boynton) who plays a junior version of Pattie Boyd inspiring the rock dreams of 14-year-old Conor. Plus it’s the golden age of the music video — that’s the fuel that drives Conor’s plan for Raphina (Boynton) to star in his band’s videos. An outfit called MTV even played videos back then, wall to wall. The Weinstein sensibility and ear for perfect audience pitch is in its full glory with Sing Street. Rebecca31 on Metacritic — in a comment that’s fairly typical — writes: “There are no adequate words to give this movie the praise it deserves. I would gladly give this 11/10 if it didn’t break the rules. An absolutely amazing, funny feel good movie of the year.”