Review: Brooklyn

I am envious of those people that have such a strong connection to their home that it becomes a part of them that can’t be lost or wavered, it’s nothing something I can claim to know but it is the backbone of this film. Leaving Ireland for a better life in the land of opportunity, specifically Brooklyn (though you probably guessed that part already), Eilis struggles to adjust until she meets Tony (Emory Cohen) who makes her see things differently, but when tragic circumstances pull her back to Ireland, she finds herself feeling the call of the ease and beauty of her home. Eilis is left with what is a rather timeless decision, does she take the easy path (in the place she loves), or the harder path (with the man she loves)?

Saoirse Ronan is an actress which I have the utmost respect for, at a young age she has accomplished a great deal and is one of the finest young actresses that you’ll find today, definitively answering why she has been nominated for an Oscar. This performance goes beyond her years but apparently well within her capability as a very talented actress, love stories may not be the toughest of material but the range of emotion is still no less impressive. Ronan makes her performance seem almost effortless, moving from one moment to the next without weakness or straying even slightly off the mark. Then there’s the terrific supporting cast of this film, with two of my personal favorite ladies: Julie Walters and Emily Bett Rickards (who Arrow fans will no doubt geek over), Walters receives more focus than Rickards but both fit particularly well into the film. Then you have the gentlemen, Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson as Jim our Irish love interest, (Gleeson seems determined to find his way into as many of the years best films as possible) both are that amiable that you’ll be unsure who Eilis will pick. Brooklyn is a good representation of the great talent of the current actors and actresses there are out there.

There is a quality to films set in the first half of the 20th century, it’s vibrant and I’d almost go as far as to say wonderful; the colours, the fashion and the sights is something that I would most likely pick over special effects and futuristic sets any day, it’s not so far removed from our society and yet it’s a different world. When a director (John Crowley), make-up artists and costume designers can all do justice to this era, it is something not to be missed, which is exactly what I would say about this film. The story is compelling and joyous at the same time as having a sad quality to it, and that diversity of tones is what makes this a great film, to make an audience feel the impact of what Eilis goes through is not as easy as it looks, but is much helped by the excellent script provided by novelist Nick Hornby.

As a whole Brooklyn has the qualities of being charming, delightful, full of heart with a surprising depth. It may have surprised many when it was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards but those surprised were those who have not seen the film. Do yourself a favour this month, and take advantage of any extra showings put on because of the awards season and have your heart warmed by Brooklyn in cinemas, while you can.

Verdict: 8/10

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