Wednesday, May 4, 2016


John Carney, who wrote and directed one of my favorite films, ONCE, has done it again. This time instead of contemporary Dublin and its environs, its 1980s Dublin, and the lead characters are teenagers. But music saves the day once again. And SING STREET has the added cache of being based on a true story.

Carney has explained that Ireland pretty much missed "the 'sixties" because of the still dominant influence and power of "The Church" and the conservative society and political establishment it helped install after most of Ireland won its freedom in the 1920s. So from his perspective, the 1980s was Ireland's chance to catch up and have their version of the opening up of society to more freedom of individual expression.

He filmed SING STREET in the actual high school he went to in the '80s when it was run by strict and even bullying Christian Brothers. And he captures the styles, especially musically, of the era pretty perfectly. The cast is terrific, the story has a familiar shape but is uniquely enough written and directed to be very satisfying, and the music is a gas, as some of us who went to high school in the 1950s might still say, or at least I still do.

A lovely evening at the movies.

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