On a rainy day, I finally decided to watch Brooklyn, which made its United States debut in November of 2015. I have been wanting to see this film for months, and it did not disappoint.
Based on the novel Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, the film follows a young Irish immigrant, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), as she seeks to start an independent life in America. Eilis experiences love, new methods, and friends of different backgrounds upon her arrival. However, a sudden tragedy forces Eilis to return to Ireland, where her old lifestyle entangles her. She must make the decision whether to continue on with her new life or fall back on her old one.
John Crowley, the director, did a fantastic job of moving the story along and not focusing too much on certain parts. There was not a moment where I was disengaged or bored. While Brooklyn is a fairly simple story, the many different characters and two contrasting settings added many layers. One was easily able to watch Eilis transform from a shy and insecure girl to a strong and confident woman.
The acting in the film was very good and realistic. I genuinely felt connected to some of the main characters. Saoirse Ronan was nominated for Best Actress for her role as Eilis, which was well deserved. Emory Cohen (Tony Fiorello) and Domhnall Gleeson (Jim Farrell) were very entertaining as well.
As mentioned before, one of my favorite aspects of Brooklyn was the assortment of characters from different backgrounds. Tony Fiorello, Eilis’ American boyfriend, comes from a large but humble Italian family. His little brother provides most of the comedic parts of the film. His family worships the Brooklyn Dodgers and is impressed with Eilis’ spaghetti eating skills. On the other hand, there is Mrs. Kehoe, played by Julie Walters. She is the strict landlady of the boarding house that Eilis lives in. She is a strong Catholic and immediately takes a liking to Eilis, whom she ends up trusting deeply. Lastly, Jim Broadbent plays the role of Father Flood, who looks after Eilis every step of the way in America. He is kind hearted and always looking to lend a hand. The variety of characters adds to the charm of the film.
Both settings, Brooklyn and Ireland, are beautiful in their own ways. The coloring and lighting helps create the story. Brooklyn is cold and dreary at initially, but as Eilis becomes more comfortable, the city becomes warm and inviting. Even the harsh winter looks pretty. Ireland’s vastness and simpleness would appeal to anybody. Both places are home to Eilis. I loved the style of clothing within the film. Because it is set in the 1950s, the women and men dress modestly but with elegance. While in Brooklyn, Eilis wore many green colored outfits. Although she was thousands of miles away from home, the spirit of Ireland never left her.
Brooklyn was a very delightful film that told an engaging story about Eilis and her transition into the American lifestyle. She is faced with tough decisions, but never forgets her identity or where she came from. It is a film I would recommend and watch again. Please, if you have seen the film, comment your opinions below!
(Image credit to: Gwinnett Daily Post)