A week in film – 2017, week 5

After last week’s comfort-watching and now it’s finally February, I feel obliged to say that I haven’t watched any more Gilmore Girls. That would be, of course, a lie. Things are still completely horrible, and series three Gilmore Girls resoundingly isn’t. Gilmore Girls has got me through an incredibly long week at work – when I’ve had time to watch it – and it’s helped me feel a bit warmer in the ice-box that my house has somehow become. I’m edging closer to the point where I’m about to loop back on myself, as I hit the final few episodes of the series and the end of the Chilton age. Even I accept that I probably shouldn’t keep going with this, which begs the question – what am I going to watch next?

Well, finally I can say I’ve watched Sing Street at the very least. John Carney’s 2016 follow-up to Once (which I’ve seen and appreciated) and Begin Again (which I really should see) is a delight from start to finish, telling the story of a teenage boy in 1980s Dublin so keen to impress a cool girl he sees outside of school he feels compelled to start a band. Yeah, the general narrative might not appear that original, but Sing Street carries with it a freshness that can only come from an honest-to-God, wish-fulfillment-driven, joyous musical. Sing Street (the band) – and Conor himself – are heavily influenced by the songs Conor listens to, from the first viewing of the music video to ‘Rio’ to The Cure to The Jam. There’s even a solid Back to the Future reference, a music video rehearsal turned ’50s prom night dream sequence, that completely charmed me (not least because it got a dance sequence into the movie, which is one of my criteria required for a favourite film). In these dark days, movies like Sing Street are exactly what we all need to make things a little better.

As I’ve been away for half the week working, other things are a little – OK, a lot – thin on the ground – but I also feel compelled to say that Sing Street offers me more of what I want from a movie musical than La La Land does. I really liked La La Land when I first saw it, and while I can’t see why it’s getting all the acclaim it’s getting, I did enjoy watching it and I was moved by it. Sing Street, though, feels like something which resonated personally, which struck a chord that La La Land might have appeared to at the time, but didn’t on further reflection. It’s just got so much more heart. How isn’t Sing Street the most talked-about movie of 2016?

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