Photo Credit: Brooklyn the Movie
While the immigrant story is one that has been told time and time again, Brooklyn is a stand out as a film adapted from Colm Tóibín’s novel of an Irish immigrant finding love in New York.
A “simple story told to perfection,” Brooklyn “is one of the year’s best films,” writes CultureMap Houston.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that Brooklyn is “unquestionably one of the best entries in this increasingly impressive year.”
Director John Crowley’s moving and humorous film brings a rare degree of empathy that makes it different than the rest, taking an intimate view of what it means to leave family behind and try to make a new life somewhere completely foreign and unfamiliar.
The film, set in the 1950s, tells the tale of a young Irish woman, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) who leaves her rather stagnant and unremarkable life in Ireland, where she has no romantic prospects and her only income comes from working Sundays at a general store. Unlike millions of earlier immigrants from Ireland and other parts of Europe, she doesn’t leave to escape desperate poverty or political violence, but is longing for the opportunities that she knows life can bring — if she seeks them out.
A family friend has arranged for Eilis to come to New York, where she’s already been set up with a job and a place to live in a boarding house filled with other young Irish immigrant women. Once there, homesick hits, but between working, going to school part time, and meeting a new love interest, Tony (Emory Cohen), her loneliness begins to subside.
The plot is revealed when a family emergency calls Eilis back to her homeland where she finds a new suitor, putting her in an uncomfortable romantic predicament — choosing between a handsome local redheaded boy (Domhnall Gleeson), and Italian-American Tony back in New York.
While it may be simple, it’s free from schmaltz, sentimentality, and pandering while being enjoyable to watch from beginning to end.
Brooklyn was released in theaters on November 6.