Film Review – Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn movie

Title – Brooklyn (2015)

Director – John Crowley (Closed Circuit)

Cast – Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent

Plot – Small town Irish girl Eilis (Ronan) moves to America to find a new life away from her beloved mother and sister. Suffering from homesickness, Eilis finds purpose when she meets kindly Italian Tony (Cohen) but when tragedy strikes, Eilis is torn between two worlds.

“One day the sun will come out and you’ll realize that this is where your life is”

Review by Eddie on 22/02/2016

A handsomely crafted love story that somehow manages to make the well-trodden grounds of the migrant drama feel not only fresh but frequently witty and heartfelt, Brooklyn is an adorable trip to both 1950’s Ireland and New York City that’s easily one of the year’s most easy to like events.

Nominated for 3 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actress at this year’s upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, Boy A director John Crowley’s film could’ve easily snuck into other award categories as he alongside famed screenwriter Nick Hornby and his on form cast have combined to give Brooklyn that special something that every now and then comes along in a genre that often feels predictable, slight and downright uninteresting, but from the word go, Brooklyn steers well clear of the downsides of many of its counterparts.

Led by a stunningly mature performance from Saoirse Ronan, who from her first appearance in Joe Wrights classic Atonement has led a productive and interesting career in front of the camera that comes full circle with her turn as Eilis here, Brooklyn is a universally polished production.

The character of Ronan’s Eilis is a believable and thoughtful one, coming of age in a world where her allegiances remain torn between two powerful desires of family and love and although it seems likely that Room actress Brie Larson is a shoe in to take home the Best Actress Oscar this year, Ronan’s work would be a worthy and deserved winner.

Eilis’s move from Ireland to the bustling streets of New York city brings about fantastic supporting characters like Julie Walters dryly comical land lady Mrs. Keogh, Jim Broadbent’s kindly priest Father Flood and most impressively Eilis’s love interest Tony, who from the word go is a baseball loving plumber we the audience side with thanks to Emory Cohen’s impressive chemistry with Ronan. Eilis’s interactions with all of these important figures give Brooklyn a real emotional heft and it’s only in the films second half that the film somewhat loses momentum.

Given the thankless task of winning us over after Cohen has come before him, Domhnall Gleeson’s Irish local Jim Farrell never truly sparks with Eilis while Eilis’s beloved mother as played by Jane Brennan isn’t exactly someone we want to spend extra time with. In many ways the New York set pieces of Brooklyn are faultless and Eilis homecoming to the Guinness loving streets of Ireland feels like a lesser experience in the overall scheme of the movie.

Beautifully acted and for a majority of its runtime perfectly executed in its goals, Brooklyn is a period romance of the highest order and a fantastic central showcase for the skills of Ronan as a performer.

Crowley with his impressive array of behind the scenes and front of scene workers has therefore created the type of romantic tinged movie that Nicolas Sparks and the likes could only but dream of.

4 ½ regretful meals out of 5

24 responses to “Film Review – Brooklyn (2015)

  1. I didn’t like the movie as much as you did although I enjoyed reading your review. I thought it was all rather like a 1950s American romance movie. But I respect your opinion.

  2. Yes to all your observations and thoughts. Saoirse is a rare and maturing talent (I can’t imagine what kind of performance she could give in 20 years but she’s building something remarkable).

    • Agreed Susan, she’s a true talent! I look forward to watching her career grow and grow. And it’s nice to see your a Gleeson fan also ha, his really taking his career to another level recently!

      • I think I’ve seen everything or nearly everything Gleeson’s been in with the exception of short films and a soccer movie called Studs, or something like that, (which is an outrageous $8 for the DVD, I’m not forking that over) that I read wasn’t worth a view soooooo I really do like him and it’s been pleasing, to say the least, to see him so successfully lately. It’d be cool if you wrote a little thingy about his work someday. 😀

  3. I loved it too! It’s so nice to see such an old fashioned story be embraced by most who see it. I liked how both men were viable options and I liked all of the small characters like the ladies at the boarding house

  4. Nicely done and said!

    I did not like it that much to be honest. As soon as Eilis started building up Jim’s hopes, after having seemingly forgotten that she had gotten married a few days earlier, I lost sympathy for the character. I just did not buy the fact she could do something like that so quickly. I understand the conflict she has in choosing between her home country and her new life, but I think the romantic component could have either been done in another more believable way or replaced by something different altogether.

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