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REVIEW: “Sing Street” Will Put a Song in Your Heart… and Your iPod

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“I have just seen an instant classic.”

That’s what I said to myself as I left the theater, with the music and adrenaline of “Sing Street” still coursing through my veins.

It’s the kind of movie you want to turn around and see again, immediately. Right after you download the soundtrack. Yes, it’s that good.

Haven’t heard anything about it? I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t have known about this film either, except that my Regal Crown Club card finally paid off in the form of free tickets to an advanced screening. (Never mind the $25 popcorn.) Anyway, let’s watch!

Hooked yet? You will be.

Irish writer/director John Carney (“Once,” “Begin Again”) has conjured a nearly perfect coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Dublin. Think “The Commitments meets “Sixteen Candles meets “Footloose,” but all in one glorious package that manages to be both fresh and nostalgic at the same time. Drawing from his own teenage years at the real Synge Street school, Carney avoids the trap of creating a pure fluff piece by infusing the story with real heart.

A large part of that is due to the breakout talent and hero of Sing Street,” 16-year-old Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. As “Connor Lalor” navigates the tricky currents of a new school, family drama, and first love, Walsh-Peelo is heartbreakingly earnest, predictably awkward, and unexpectedly optimistic. Everything about his performance rings true. No small feat, considering that this is his acting debut.

Thanks to Carney’s non-actor, open casting approach, Walsh-Peelo is also joined by some equally promising new faces. Lucy Boynton is luminous as his love interest, “Raphina,” and Mark McKenna is quietly compelling as Conor’s songwriting partner, “Eamon.”

One of the most satisfying pairings, though, is anchored by the more experienced Jack Reynor (“Transformers:Age of Extinction”).  He shines as Conor’s older brother, “Brendan.”  Dealing with the angst of his own stalled dreams, Brendan tackles his brotherly mentoring role with gusto. Conor soaks up the advice like a ruddy-cheeked sponge, then begins to find his own way as his confidence grows.  Rarely do we see the underlying affection between two brothers played so simply and honestly,  so the relationship between Conor and Brendan is a lovely surprise.

The other undeniable star of “Sing Street” is the music.  While the story could have easily been told with the band only performing covers of ’80s hits,  Carney had a bigger vision for the film.  He collaborated with Scottish songwriter Gary Clark to craft 8 original tunes that not only add layers of light and shade to the storyline, but could be stand-alone chart toppers today.  From the gleefully retro “The Riddle of the Model,” to the Cure-tastic “Beautiful Sea,”  to the EMO ballad “To Find You,”  there’s something for everyone. Welcome to your summer soundtrack, people.

There are few darker notes to the plot, and the ending feels slightly of place, but in general “Sing Street” will leave you feeling as light and fizzy as a packet of Pop Rocks.

The movie poster reads: “Boy Meets Girl. Girl Unimpressed. Boy Starts Band.”  That’s it in a nutshell, of course, but happily, this film is so much more.

SING STREET opens in New York April 15th, and is in theaters nationwide on April 29th.

 

 

 

 

 

Entertainment

All 18 of the BAFTA Acting Nominees Are White, All Directing Nominees Are Male

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“Joker” is the one to watch at the upcoming BAFTAs, but if you’re looking for diversity and female directors, sadly you’ll have to look somewhere else. All the acting nominees are white, and all the directors are male.

Led by a lead actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” received 11 nominations for Britain’s equivalent to the Oscars, competing with familiar Golden Globe nominees Taron Egerton, “Rocketman,”  Leonardo DiCaprio for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Renée Zellweger leads the nominations for the best actress category for her role in “Judy,” alongside Jessie Buckley,  “Wild Rose,” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

Here are the other notable highlights:

See the full nomination page HERE.

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little WomenMarriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For SamaParasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for BombshellJudyLe Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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The Best Golden Globe GIFS That Keep On GIF-ing.

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Sometimes an award show recap is best done with looping clips and no audio. Here are the best Golden Globe gifs making the rounds!

GIFS  via GIPHY  via NBC’s awards coverage.

THE FIRST WINNER OF THE NIGHT,  RAMY YOUSSEF ADMITTED THAT MOST PEOPLE HAVEN’T SEEN HIS SHOW ‘RAMY’ ON HULU. BUT THANKS TO HIS HILARIOUS, CHARMING SPEECH, A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL BE CHECKING IT OUT NOW.

I WANNA BORROW GWYNNIE’S SHEER GOWN FOR LOUNGING POOLSIDE AND SMOKING A VIRGINIA SLIM. AND I DON’T EVEN SMOKE. IS THAT MACRAME? I AM NOT HATING ON IT. I THINK IT’S DARING.

BEYONCE LOOK TRAPPED. HERE SHE IS GIVING US THE GOLD SHOULDER…

TOBIAS MENZIES SUMS UP A LOT OF FOLKS’ REACTION TO RICKY GERVAIS.

TOM HANKS FELT SIMILARLY.

WHEN YOU JUST WANNA FIND AN OPEN SPOT AT THE BAR…

BUSY PHILIPPS IS ALWAYS THERE TO SUPPORT BESTIE MICHELLE WILLIAMS. TONIGHT WAS NO EXCEPTION, AS SHE CHEERED ON MICHELLE’S SPEECH SUPPORTING A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE…

TIFFANY HADDISH AND SALMA HAYEK WERE FEELING IT TOO…

CAUGHT ON GIF: A MARRIAGE STORY‘S ADAM DRIVER CAUGHT SMILING!

ONCE AGAIN, WHATEVER WILL FERRELL DOES IS HILARIOUS:

IF YOU DIDN’T FALL FOR ADORABLE ROMAN GRIFFIN DAVIS IN HIS MOVIE ‘JOJO RABBIT,’ YOU FELL FOR HIM LAST NIGHT…

WHEN A CAMERA IS TRAINED ON YOUR FACE FOR MOST OF THE NIGHT… WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO EXPRESSION? HERE’S BRAD’S:

AND HERE’S PACINO’S: LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU’LL SEE HE’S BREATHING.

AND FOR SOME REASON THIS IS THE ONE OF JEN THAT’S TRENDING. WE CAN DO BETTER.

Jennifer Aniston Golden Globes

EVEN IF YOU DON’T WIN, THERE’S STILL CHAMPAGNE.

AND THEN IT WAS OVER. LOOK HOW MUCH TIME YOU’VE SAVED!

FOR MORE OF THIS, OR SOMETHING ELSE, OR JUST BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU, FOLLOW @BRIANBALTHAZAR ON TWITTER.

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POLL: Justin Bieber Releases New Single “Yummy” Four Years After His Last Album. What Do You Think?

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In less than a day, the single has hit number one on the iTunes charts and the lyric video has gained more than five million views on YouTube.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the word ‘Yummy” when used by anyone old enough to vote. It just creeps me out.

The song is presumably about having sex with his wife Hailey Baldwin, although he doesn’t specifically name her. Let’s hope it’s about her, because it’s definately about having sex with someone.

Watch the lyric video, have a listen and cast your vote in the poll below!

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