Director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) is forty-four years old. He was born in 1972 making him thirteen or so in 1985. His latest film, Sing Street, about a boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980's who escapes his strained family life by starting a band feels remarkably autobiographical. Not knowing if this was the case or not before seeing the film (doing a little research reveals it in fact is) I could feel this sense of closeness, of passion for not only the time period and the music that is so evident it's contagious, but in the feelings these characters are actually feeling. In other words, it is beyond evident that Carney, who also wrote the screenplay, experienced much of what is on screen here himself. To accompany these feelings Carney is attempting to resurrect from his childhood is the music of that decade as well. With each of these moments we have a song or a lyric that elicits the grander emotion, the nostalgia-tinted adoration for the promise that youth holds and it is in these elements that Sing Street transcends being more than a simple coming of age story. Sure, on the surface the film could be described as a typical coming of age tale that features a boy trying to impress a girl by playing music and there are of course elements of those types of stories present here, but Carney utilizes such tropes in a fashion that they come across as pure magic. Through the eyes of this child of the eighties we are witness to not only his first love and the experience of him learning, picking up information and ideologies from those around him, informing the person he will become, but we also catch glimpses of the weight of adulthood, the realization that our ambitions can be greater than our inherent talent, and that the best parts of life can be those we leave more to mystery than those we come to know too well. Sing Street is a layered and complex film about adolescence and yet you never feel the weight of such themes because you're too busy being wrapped up in the infectious and heart-warming music the characters create from these circumstances.