Dan's Review: "Brooklyn" is an instant classic
Nov 25, 2015 05:21PM
By Dan Metcalf
Emory Cohen and Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn - © 2015 - Fox Searchlight Pictures
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight)
Rated PG - 13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language.
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Bríd Brennan, Jane Brennan, Fiona Glascott, Jessica Paré, Eileen O'Higgins, Emily Bett Rickards, Jenn Murray, Eve Macklin, Mary O'Driscoll, Nora-Jane Noone, Michael Zegen, Paulino Nunes, Gerard Murphy.
Written by Nick Hornby, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín.
Directed by John Crowley.
Period romances are not exactly a big thing these days, but Brooklyn, story of a young 1950s immigrant may change that.
Saoirse Ronan stars as Eilis (pronounced “EYE-lish”), a young woman who immigrates to Brooklyn, New York in search of employment and life experience. Eilis lives in a boarding home run by Mrs. Kehoe (Julie Walters) and becomes desperately homesick. She finds comfort with Father Flood, the catholic priest who sponsored her trip to the U.S. She also has trouble fitting into her job at a pricy department store until she meets a nice young Italian man named Tony (Emory Cohen) at a dance. The pair hits it off, and romance ensues.
Eilis’ happiness is interrupted by a death in the family, which requires her to return to Ireland. Tony worries that she may never return. One back in her homeland, Eilis reunites with old friends and meets a handsome, wealthy man named Jim (Domhnall Gleeson), who is smitten with her. Torn between the love of her life in New York and her family, Eilis must decide whether to stay with Jim or go back to Tony.
Brooklyn is a beautiful film, and one of the best of the year. There are a lot of factors that make the movie so appealing, not the least of which is Saoirse Ronan’s excellent and moving performance. Other factors include an superb script adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel by Nick Hornby, beautiful art direction that transports the audience convincingly to 1950s New York City and compelling cinematography.
An outstanding supporting cast also helps Brooklyn stand out, especially the performances by Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.
It’s common to make romance films a little cheesy, but it’s clear that director John Crowley stayed away from period romance clichés to transform Brooklyn into a classic cinematic experience. I highly recommend it.