Rating Explanation: for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review: This rich period drama tugs at the heartstrings as deftly as it satisfies the mind. It is a multi-layered masterpiece that easily stands out as one of the best films of the year.
Saoirse Ronan ...
Jim Broadbent ...
Maeve McGrath ...
Emma Lowe ...
Fiona Glascott ...
Jane Brennan ...
Eileen O'Higgins ...
Peter Campion ...
Eva Birthistle ...
Julie Walters ...
Matt Glynn ...
Brid Brennan ...
With one eye looking forward to a world of possibilities as an immigrant
in 1950s Brooklyn and another on her mother and sister (Fiona Glascott)
left behind in Ireland, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) is uncertain what lies
ahead for her.
Eilis is put up in a women’s boarding home run by Mrs. Kehoe (Julie
Walters) and set up with a job at a department store. Initially, the
adjustment period is taxing as letters from home leave Eilis bawling and
nearly inconsolable. With the help of a strong support system including
her store manager Miss Fortini (Jessica Pare) and Father Flood (Jim
Broadbent), Eilis starts to get more comfortable to her new life. But it’s not until she meets Tony (Emory Cohen) that Eilis
fully comes to appreciate all the big city has to offer. Their
relationship is tender, sweet, refreshingly innocent and thanks to the chemistry between Saoirse Ronan
and Emory Cohen. It’s the rare romance where it’s
too good to be true, but as their courtship progresses, responsibilities back home
force Eilis to return to Ireland.
Eilis quickly fits back into the flow of a less eventful life. She’s
hanging out with her best friend Nancy while finding the advances of
dashing suitor Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson)
not all that unwelcome while Tony faithfully writes from New York. Soon
Eilis is forced to decide which life she truly wishes to pursue.
Conflicts and difficult choices develop naturally and play out in an
organic fashion that don’t feel manipulated for the sake of forced
tension. There are no villainous characters set on making Eilis’ life hell.
Conversely, the supporting cast from the fellow borders at the Kehoe
home to Tony’s family are top to bottom enjoyable. The film could have
easily focused on any of these subsets of Eilis’ life and been just as
entertaining. There’s not a weak link among the cast and while the
ensemble isn’t as flashy as some other award contenders, their efforts
shouldn’t be overlooked.
Director John Crowley ("A Boy") lays the film out so smoothly that it feels
more like a glimpse into the past than a movie made in 2015. There’s a
classic, vintage style of filmmaking evident in every scene untainted by
modern movies crammed with sarcasm and cynicism. Brooklyn is one of
those films that makes you believe in real love again.