MOVIE REVIEW: Sing Street is guaranteed to make you smile
EVERY now and then a movie comes along with little or no fanfare, which slips under the marketing radar but wins the hearts and minds of audiences as word of mouth spreads.
Movies like The Princess Bride, The Commitments and The Gods Must Be Crazy are perfect examples of movies that opened to very low ticket sales, but became big hits over time.
Now in 2016 comes a little Irish movie titled Sing Street, that is set to leave audiences leaving the cinema with a smile knowing they've just seen something special.
Sing Street takes you back to Dublin in the pivotal year of 1985, when the Lalor family is facing tough times as father Robert (Game of Throne's Aiden Gillen) tells his youngest son Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) that, due to finances, he has to leave private school and change to a state-run education facility.
Conor rocks up to Synge Street School, where things do not go well. Conor falls victim to bullying and a less that satisfactory meeting with the school's head, Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley). But after school Conor meets the stunning beautiful Raphina (Lucy Boynton).
He tells her that he needs a model for a music video his band is making. She accepts, which leaves Conor with just a few days to find a band.
What follows is a journey of self-discovery as Conor somehow puts together a bunch of musical misfits, learns to write songs and all the while try to win the heart of Raphina, who has an older boyfriend with a car - two things Conor can't compete with.
Some of the best scenes involve Conor hanging out with his older brother Brendan, who introduces him to some of the best albums of all time as part of his 'education'.
Conor has to deal with not only seeing his parents split up, but dealing with his first love, a new school and finding out that music can mean so much more in life.
Sing Street has a virtual cast of unknown actors, with only Aiden Gillen the instantly recognisable face. This frees up the cast to enjoy themselves, and it shows.
Anyone who loved music as a teenager, or had a crush on someone who did, will get something out of Sing Street. The movie is littered with charm, humour and a fantastic soundtrack.
If you grew up in the '80s then you will love this movie just that little bit more, but it won't matter how old you are. It is impossible not to enjoy Sing Street, and the scenery throughout the movie just makes you want to jump on a plane to Ireland.
Uplifting, funny and charming, Sing Street will have you leaving the cinema with a smile from ear to ear and you'll be posting on social media telling all your friends to see this movie to which they'll say 'never heard of it'.
If you loved The Commitments then Sing Street is the 2016 equivalent. You have to hand it to the Irish, they know how to tell a great story.
It's a toe-tapping, feel-good movie that will have you longing for the days when you were 15 years old, falling in love at the drop of a hat and discovering music as a serious art form.
Guaranteed to make you smile, Sing Street is a winner.
Stars: Aiden Gillen, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Jack Reynor, Lucy Boynton.
Director: John Carney
Verdict: 4/5 stars