With 1980s Dublin mired in recession, Conor’s parents move him from a comfortable private school to a rough inner-city public school where the scrappy 14-year-old forms a band. Mentored by his older brother, a dropout who’s hip to cool tunes, Conor starts to compose lyrics and the glam-ish band finds its “no covers” groove. Renaming himself Cosmo, he convinces the mysterious, über-cool Raphina to star in their music videos (and tries to win her heart in the process).

John Carney, whose musical passion and DIY vibe refreshed a genre with Once and Begin Again, spins a loosely autobiographical story in which music again offers a refuge–from school and family strife. He spent over a year collaborating on original music (a throwback to ‘80s vibrancy) that’s catchy but plausible for a youth band, and his talented cast plays it like they mean it. Carney’s nostalgia isn’t only for a bygone Dublin and its soundtrack, but for that moment when you pour your heart into something, and it can mean everything to you. When songs can save your life.

YEAR 2015

SECTION Premieres


RUN TIME 105 min

COMPANY The Weinstein Company

EMAIL daniel.guando@weinsteinco.com

PHONE (212) 590-7893


Production Designer
Costume Designer

Artist Bio

John Carney

Dublin-based writer/director John Carney came to the world’s attention following the box office hit and critically acclaimed musical Once (2006), which collected awards at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Sundance Film Festival. Carney was also a bassist in the Irish rock band The Frames, where he met Glen Hansard, with whom he would later collaborate on Once. He has also directed the audience favorites Zonad (2003) and Begin Again (2013).