Brooklyn is a gorgeous movie. We watched this rather sensual 2015 film on our new to us big screen TV. Thanks again guys! It felt to me like we were sitting in a movie theater, instead of the more intimate setting of our living room couch.
Brooklyn is an immigrant story told as a love story. Our protagonist is Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish lass. Finding herself without prospects in her native Ireland, she emigrates to America. She lands seasick, home sick and miserable. The Church (Jim Broadbent) has arranged for her a room in a women’s boarding house and a job as a clerk in a department store. These establishments aside, her malaise in America is not lifted until she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), an Italian-American boy.
Brooklyn is set in the early 1950s. Period dress and manners make this film’s story feel older than it should. As an immigrant story it is as up to date and now as any story could be. I particularly enjoyed the all female boarding house dinner scenes. Where the younger new arrivals face off against their older more jaded immigrant sisters. The house mom trying to act as referee adds a nice touch to this dynamic.
Just as she is establishing herself in this new land, family tragedy pulls Eilis back home to Ireland. When Eilis returns home, her new-found confidence and bearing does not go unnoticed. Doors that were once closed to her before are now sprung open, as almost all of Ireland wishes to woo her back home. This is most personified in a new beau, George (Peter Campion). Family obligations and home also weigh heavily upon Eilis and her decision to return to America.
Brooklyn is a love story. It is the story of a love triangle, but while Eilis may be at its apex, it is not just a rivalry between Tony and George. Both Ireland and America enter into this fray and both lands tug hard on her heartstrings. Finally, enough cannot be said in praise of Ms. Ronan’s performance as Eilis. She and the movie were both nominated for Oscars last year and deservingly so. I look forward to seeing her future performances. Brooklyn is now streaming on HBO.