Adapted by Nick Hornby (WILD, AN EDUCATION, ABOUT A BOY) from Colm Toibin’s acclaimed novel, BROOKLYN is an exquisitely crafted period piece about a young Irish immigrant who finds herself poised between two worlds in 1950’s America.
There aren’t many opportunities for young women in postwar Ireland, but soft-spoken Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) receives an opportunity when her family makes arrangements for her to take a ship to New York. Upon arrival, she is a fledgling out of the nest. Lonely and shy, she takes a job at a department store and finds herself homesick for her mother and her older sister, Rose. But thanks to a kindly priest (Jim Broadbent), her colorful landlady (Julie Walters), and her stern-yet-sympathetic floor manager (Mad Men’s Jessica Pare), Eilis starts to make her way in the New World, taking bookkeeping courses and meeting a nice Italian-American plumber (Emory Cohen). When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, she rekindles old relationships while discovering that her perspective on her home town has changed dramatically. Facing mounting pressures from those closest to her, Eilis must decide whether to stay in Ireland or return to the life she has built for herself in America. Painted with a luscious palette, the film re-creates the 1950s as a romantic dream. And at its center, Ronan’s performance is captivating, conveying the depth of Eilis’s thoughts through the most minute touches — a subtle crinkle around her eyes or a flinch in her smile. A story that’s as universal in reach as it is personal in the telling, BROOKLYN unfolds like a robust romantic drama, rich in history and full of emotion.
*Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress (Ronan)
*3 Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (Ronan), Best Adapted Screenplay
(UK, Ireland, Canada / 2015 / Directed by John Crowley)
PG-13 / 111 mins.