COUNT on Nick Hornby to flesh out a script packed with engagingly funny, sincere dialogue and complex yet dynamic and relatable characters. Brooklyn was the perfect Sunday treat: genuine, humorous, heart-wrenching, and overall deeply touching.
In 1950s Ireland, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young woman on the cusp of adulthood immigrates to America. Leaving behind her sister and mother, Eilis finds a new family in a boarding house of women and a new job in a department store.
When a handsome young man enters the picture and opportunities arise back home, Eilis must choose between her homeland and the new opportunities that America has presented.
Brooklyn is beautifully and lovingly shot, warm and luminous. Eye candy comes in all forms, from the gorgeous Irish countryside to the killer ‘50s fashion and hair.
We see Eilis grow into herself as a woman, an immigrant, and an independent. Ronan is a truly gifted actor, a master of subtlety and vulnerability; a simple concentrated, zone-out stare speaks volumes of Eilis’s struggle finding her place. She brings a sweetness and realness to Eilis that allows us to root for her with pride.
In addition to a gripping narrative and captivating leading lady, Brooklyn is peppered with familiar talent, from Julie Walters as the hysterical head of Eilis’s boarding house to Jim Broadbent as the kind priest who sponsors Eilis to the stunning Jessica Paré (Mad Men’s Megan Draper) as Eilis’s no-nonsense boss.
If you’re looking for a little love story with your historical drama this season that passes the Bechdel test, Brooklyn is the way to go. – Anna Chandler