Saturday, November 28, 2015


Movie Name: Brooklyn
Year of Release: 2015
Director: John Crowley
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Fiona Glascott, Eileen O'Higgins, Eva Birthistle, Emily Rickards, Jessica Pare, Paulino Nunes, Eve Macklin, Nora-Jane Noone
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis & Review:
John Crowley's "Brooklyn" is the adaptation of Colm Toibin's novel of the same name, which was written and released in 2009 (and was on the short list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize of that year). The film tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young and bright Irish girl, who lives in a small town with her mom and older sister Rose (in the 1950s). The beautiful Rose works as a book-keeper and wants Eilis to have a better life than what the small town where they are can provide - she therefore arranges for Eilis to come to America, specifically the Brooklyn area. Initially homesick and lonely, Eilis slowly starts engaging more socially, and finds herself taking night classes to also become a book-keeper and meets a young Italian-American man who captures her attention. However things back home take an unexpected turn and she's forced to come back.
John Crowley's career has thus far been a discrete one, with titles such as "Boy A" and "Closed Circuit", which barely failed to register with audiences. "Brooklyn" is however a different case - the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival of 2015 to much acclaim, and was instantly bought by Fox Searchlight as a possible Oscar contender. And indeed the film is a well told story of a young woman finding her own path and coming to terms with her own choices. The film really brings the plight of the young Eilis to life particularly depicting her anguish and pain in leaving her family and friends behind in Ireland, and understandably facing her fears of being in a new country, new city and new life. The film at points brings to mind the best work of Merchant Ivory, with the impeccable production design, costumes, cinematography and score. The casting is also spot on, with Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Emory Cohen all creating memorable impressions, however the film truly belongs to the luminous and beautiful Saoirse Ronan. She creates a nuanced character, filled with fear, anxiety, joy, love and we witness it all through her beautiful eyes and face that are filled with emotion. A finely assemble film, worth watching.