Based on John Carney’s career trajectory, from the gritty earnestness of his breakthrough Once, the torpid naiveté of Begin Again, and the saccharine simplicity of Sing Street, it’s become clear that success has steered Carney’s attitude to the sentimental. To put it plainly: it’s more agreeable to be cheerful than it is to be pissed off. So, in Sing Street, Carney’s film set in mid-80s Dublin during a period of macro-economic turmoil and micro-paternal anxieties, the cumulative stresses of the day are tidily swept under the cultural fabric. There’s no monumental Llewyn Davis-sized obstacle to be cleared here. This is not a film that illustrates the struggles of artistic hardship nor is it especially concerned with the endless hours of practice that comes with musicianship. It’s sincere, but with a motive. For as serendipitous as passages of Sing Street may be (and it’s a film that is very much after your heart), it’s insouciant bravado yearns for pathos; to impart its callow wisdom on the freedom that music provides.
Read Daniel’s full review on Chicago Cinema Circuit