Posts Tagged ‘john carney’


Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (center) and Sing Street

“SING STREET” My rating: B

106 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

Being a teenager sucks.  Good thing there’s rock ‘n’ roll to see you through.

“Sing Street,” the latest from Irish auteur John Carney (“Once,” “Begin Again”), nails the nexus of adolescence and pop music better than any movie since “The Commitments.”

This story of Dublin teens throwing together their own band — and of the beautiful but troubled girl who inspires it all — is goofy, tuneful and romantic.

And in its leading man, 16-year old Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (no, that’s not a typo), “Sing Street” may have the year’s most appealing newcomer.

The time is 1985 and Ireland is in the crapper.  There’s widespread unemployment and any young person hoping for a decent future is planning a move to England.

The economic realities are inescapable for young Conor (Walsh-Peelo). His fiercely bickering parents (“Orphan Black’s” Maria Doyle Kennedy and “Game of Thrones'” Aidan Gillen) are out of work. They’ve had to yank Conor from his upscale high school and transferred him to the much cheaper Synge Street School, a hotbed of juvenile delinquency run by sadistic clerics.

There’s but one bright spot in all this.  Each morning a gorgeous young woman sits on her stoop opposite the school, boredly puffing on a fag as the wind lifts her teased hair.

Her name is Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and she says she’s an aspiring model. Conor is immediately smitten.  Raphina seems impossibly sophisticated, sexually experienced, and wholly unattainable (in fact, she’s only 16, a year older than our protagonist). But Conor finds the courage to approach her and brazenly suggest that she appear in the music video his band is making.

Only problem is that he doesn’t have a band.


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"Zonad"...it's not another "Once"

“Zonad” (Now available)

Everybody who follows pop music has heard of the one-hit wonder.

Same thing can happen in movies.

A couple of years back Irish filmmaker John Carney had an international hit with “Once,” a modest mini-musical about a Dublin street busker who falls for an immigrant girl.

They end up making beautiful music together…so beautiful that “Once” won the Oscar for best original song.

I loved “Once”; thought it may have been the year’s most satisfying film.

But Carney’s followup, just out on DVD, suggests that “Once” was indeed a one-time-only deal.


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