2016 Sydney Film Festival - Sing Street

Set in Dublin, Ireland in the 1980s, this is a story of a boy who starts a band to impress a girl he likes. It was the darling of this year's Sundance Film Festival and most critics have really enjoyed it. Did it live up to the hype?

This is loads of fun, especially for the 1980s music fan. It is like a combinations of The Committments (with the very same Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Gregory's Girl. The performances are great, the songs are really really good pop songs and you leave the cinema with a smile on your face. This is the second movie I saw in two days that are family friendly coming of age films set in a decade where fashion and music were bright and rambunctious. One more and we may have a trend. We definately need more movies like Sing Street and Girl Asleep.

Sydney Film Festival 2014 - Begin Again

This is a slight US indie with charming performances and some theories about the modern music industry. I can see this film being marketed as a romantic comedy, but that would be sad as it is more about people just trying to connect rather than a romance. It has a soundtrack that is singer/songwriter driven in the pop/folk genre, which is limiting and very white. There is a nod to Cee Lo Green as a successful rapper, however it is really all about white middleclass hipsters and their music. It is a nice way to spend a couple of hours if you want to relax and just have a movie wash over you while eating popcorn.