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Film reviews: Sing Street Musical comedy and Hologram for the King

Review: Sing Street (12A, 106 mins) Four stars.

By Damon Smith

Published 20/05/2016

Sweet music: Sing Street celebrates the innocence of youth
Sweet music: Sing Street celebrates the innocence of youth

Robert (Aidan Gillen) and his wife Penny (Maria Doyle Kennedy) reluctantly tighten their purse strings, to the chagrin of their children Brendan (Jack Reynor), Ann (Kelly Thornton) and Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo).

Fifteen-year-old Conor transfers to a boys' school, where he falls foul of resident bully Barry (Ian Kenny), but makes one friend in red-haired outcast Darren (Ben Carolan). Desperate to catch the eye of a local girl called Raphina (Lucy Boynton), Conor forms a band called Sing Street and ropes in some of the local kids including multi-instrumentalist Eamon (Mark McKenna) and duo Larry (Conor Hamilton) and Garry (Karl Rice). Another classmate, Ngig (Percy Chamburuka), is headhunted because, as Conor innocently observes: "He's bound to play something. He's black."

Buoyed by initial success, Conor and Eamon get their creative juices flowing to pen original songs inspired by The Jam, Spandau Ballet and The Cure.

Meanwhile, Conor urgently seeks advice from Brendan about wooing Raphina, whose boyfriend drives around town with Genesis blaring from his stereo.

Sing Street is 106 minutes of fizzing, pop-infused joy that unfolds though the innocent, questioning eyes of sensitive teenager Conor and his brothers in musical arms.

Movie has Hanks to thank

Review: Hologram for the King (12, 98 mins)

World-weary salesman Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) has been despatched to Riyadh to woo King Abdullah (Mohamed Attifi) with his company's state-of-the-art 3D conferencing technology.

The problems begin when Alan oversleeps on the first morning and misses a scheduled meeting with the King's assistant Karim Al-Ahmad (Khalid Laith).

Moreover, Alan's on-site technical team comprising Brad (David Menkin), Cayley (Christy Meyer) and Rachel (Megan Maczko) have been consigned to a large marquee outside the main complex without access to WiFi, food or water. Tempers fray and Alan finds an alluring ally in a Danish IT contractor called Hanne (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who knows how to party hard with her Scandinavian countrymen.

Meanwhile, the unsightly growth on Alan's back leads him to an emergency appointment with female doctor Zahra Hakem (Choudhury), whose tender bedside manner forces the businessman to question his priorities and future. A Hologram For The King relies heavily on Hanks' innate likeability and comic timing, and he plies both with precision.

Belfast Telegraph

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