“Brooklyn” brings the story of Ellis (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish woman whom doesn’t seem to fit within the current formulaic lifestyle of that of her Irish family and friends. So she decides to take a trip to New York and find herself with a hopeful career in bookkeeping and accounting. In Brooklyn she meets a young Italian man which blossoms into a relationship.
Set design, costume design and cinematography paint an incredible picture of both Ireland and America in the 1950s, which is an incredible feet to achieve, due to a tremendous effort by all the team working on this film, they give it an authenticity and almost timeless appeal. The direction is also top class here, John Crowley style always puts the characters in perspective to the audience, giving us an insight into their emotional state without heavy handed dialogue. This is done through character close-ups which are only as effective as the actor in front of the camera allows them to be, thankfully the performances uplift this style of direction. Nick Hornby adaption of Colm Tóibín novel is incredible, dialogue is most importantly of its time, which adds another layer of sincerity to this motion picture.
However this film is undeniably anchored by the performance of Saoirse Ronan as Irish immigrant “Eilis”. She without doubt gives the best lead female performance I have seen so far this year, the characters subtleties, complexities and emotional state are portrayed by Saoirse in a moving manner, her likability and charm are instrumental in winning viewer attachment. For many scenes within the film she must convey what her character feels in close-ups of her face with no dialogue, (an actors living nightmare) it is a testament to her acting ability that she accomplishes these scenes with a certain vulnerability and honesty that is riveting to watch.
The supporting cast is masterfully chosen and fits perfectly into the overall concept. Jane Brennan as Ellis’s mother, a taciturn woman who accepts her fate and acts as if she has no emotions. Fiona Glascott as the sister Rose. Brid Brennan who plays the role of the haughty nosy Miss Kelly and surprisingly she plays an important role in the final decision of Eilis. Julie Walters as the owner of the guest house who needs to keep two light-headed boarders in line all the time. Domhnall Gleeson is an Irish village boy who makes an attempt to convince Eilis to stay in Ireland. And of course Emory Cohen and his Italian family. A confident young man who slowly tries to win the young Irish girl’s heart.
Brooklyn is a type of film that does not come around very often but when it does it deserves to be cherished. I personally valued every second, and with a performance as wonderful as Saoirse Ronan it’s hard not to be swept away on an emotional journey.
Brooklyn gets an 8.6/10.