September 20, 2016


John Crowley, 2015
Brooklyn is an adaptation of the best-selling novel written by Colm Tóibín. Set in the Post WW2 1950's and shown through the eyes of Irish immigrant Eilis (Saoirse Ronan - Hanna, Grand Budapest Hotel), it shows an America that like today shows a country ripe with oppurtunity. Modern day New York City is filled with Irish ancestry but there was a period of time where the Irish/Italian ancestral lines weren't so embedded. Eilis is sort of thrown into this America. A priest sponsors her trip to America with the intention that she will find more oppurtunity and fulfillment there. Staying in her native Ireland means probably working a low-wage job and becoming a slave to the dreary monotony that seems to resonate through her small town. She would likely marry the neighborhood boy that wins the approval of her bitter mother. She would then take care of her mother until she died, and then inherit her home and stay there for the rest of her life. So she boards a ship with many other immigrants, a total fish out of water.

It's here that Crowley is able to capture some real emotion that lands on the screen. Much credit is due to Ronan who is able to display the unbearable homesickness, stranger anxiety, the grieving over a deceased loved one. She is able to balance the wide spectrum of emotions so remarkably, alwhile also showing a blossoming love with Italian man Tony (Emory Cohen). Ronan continues to impress, showing she is one of the more impressive leading performers working today. This film might break your personal record for most goosebumps felt. Brooklyn is a look at a bygone era. Where people looked out for each other more than they seem to do today. People weren't walking with phones in their hand looking down at a black mirror and instead used that free hand to hold a fellow person up. Brooklyn is also just another great example of how New York City is the best movie setting for romantic storytelling. Sorry Paris.

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