Looking Back at 2010s Films: Sing Street (2016)

5 Oct

singstreetband15

By Tanner Smith

Continuing my series of Looking Back at 2010s Films, I may as well come out about it–I, L. Tanner Smith, am “happy-sad.”

I was upset when not a single song from “Sing Street” was nominated at the Oscars for Best Original Song! (And I applaud ScreenJunkies for their Honest Trailer for the Oscars of that year for acknowledging that mistake! “Didn’t ANYONE see Sing Street?”)

These are all good songs! And they’re all influenced by ’80s pop idols–Riddle of the Model is “modeled” (if you will) after Duran Duran, Beautiful Sea is inspired by The Cure, Drive It Like You Stole It has a Hall & Oates vibe to it, and so on. The Sing Street band’s softer material, such as Up and To Find You, seem like the only songs that were made with their own sound, showing that they’re playing from the heart.

“Sing Street” is a lovely music film directed by John Carney, who also directed Once (which DID get an Oscar nod for one of its songs, and won). Set in Dublin in the ’80s (because the ’80s are everywhere now), the film is about a teenage boy named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who moves from a private school to a tough inner-city school, where he has trouble fitting in. To impress a mysterious older girl (Lucy Boynton) who aspires to be a model, he starts his own band with some of his classmates. Calling themselves Sing Street, they gain inspiration from ’80s pop music and Conor is guided by his older brother (Jack Reynor) in order to get the girl and find his own voice.

“Sing Street” was my favorite film of 2016. It made me smile, it moved me in ways I didn’t expect, it delighted me in each direction it took, and there was hardly a moment when I didn’t have a smile on my face. This film could have been just a simple film about a boy who starts his own rock band to impress his crush, and in some way, it IS that simple. But that’s what I love about it–there’s a genuine passion thrown into the making of this delightful film that is felt all throughout.

I could also easily relate to and sympathize with Conor and the things he goes through. He even delivers one of my favorite lines of dialogue of the decade:

“I’m stuck in this shithole full of morons and bullies and rapists, and I’m just going to live with it. It’s just the way life is. I’m going to accept it and get on with it. And I’m going to make some art.”

How does that affect his band? “Positively.”

I love this movie.

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