Synopsis – An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within – Brooklyn
Director – John Crowley
Starring – Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters
Released – 2015
For fans of – Lady Bird, Little Women, On Chesil Beach
It’s my firm belief that there are very few actors working today that have the range and skill of Saoirse Ronan and I find it genuinely baffling given her succession of outstanding performances and award nominations, that more people don’t treat her as the generational talent she so clearly is.
This view was only backed up further by her skilful portrayal as an Irish immigrant in ’50s Brooklyn. Both homesick for the land that she called home and missing her family/community, whilst also wanting to step out into this big new world, find love and find herself. It’s not a stretch to see this story (minus the love triangles) being an accurate representation of what millions of immigrants must have felt when leaving their homelands.
In terms of story, Brooklyn keeps things simple, with one main plot based around the life of one principal character (Eilis), with very few scenes in which she isn’t the focus of the action, yet the skilful direction of John Crowley coupled with Ronan’s nuanced acting stopped me from finding the story boring or slow.
The movie also benefits from an abundance of talented supporting characters including the ever-skilful Domhnall Gleeson and Jim Broadbent, however, it was Emory Cohen who provided the most memorable performance from the supporting cast, his charm and charisma made his character Tony the easy choice when looking for a love interest to route for. Not that Gleeson’s character Jim wasn’t a bad alternative.
Brooklyn feels both realistic whilst also dreamlike. It’s a story about love, loss and how each of us is affected by circumstances out of our control. And just like in real life, contains a surprising amount of comedic moments. All in all, this is a very thoughtful, touching and beautifully directed and executed movie starring an actress who can seemingly do no wrong.