Bizarre love triangle, to be sure
Classic Elsternwick - Thursday 11 February 2016, 7:00pm
Running time: 111m
Country: United Kindom / Ireland / Canada
Release date: 11/02/16
Rating: 9.5/10 (4.5/5 ME, 5/5 DP)
Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) leaves her widowed mother (Jane Brennan) and sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) in Ireland to make a new life for herself in New York in the early 1950s. Life in the boarding house run by Mrs Kehoe (Julie Walters) provides an important connection with her Irish past, but Eilis soon finds enough confidence to take a bite out of the big apple. Supported by Irish priest Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), Eilis studies bookkeeping at the night while working in a department store during the day. When she meets Tony (Emory Cohen) at an Irish dance, her new life in the United States seems to be complete. But when a family tragedy takes her back home, Eilis is faced with the agonising choice between her new life in New York or the chance to start all over again with Jim (Domhnall Gleeson).
Brooklyn is an epic and delightful romantic drama based on the novel by Colm Tóibin. Despite a harrowing plot full of heartbreak there is joy between the tears. Saoirse Ronan is superb in the lead and her facial expressions tell as much of the story as the dialogue. Her awkwardness is charming and natural and demonstrates enough range to carry the growth of the character. The supporting cast brings a richness to the story (it's lovely to see Julie Walters on screen again) but never draw away from the fact that this is a story about one woman's remarkable emotional journey.
Like its lead character, Brooklyn is an unpretentious, charming and compelling film that's more than worthy of its best picture Oscar nomination. The warmth of the relationships emanates from the screen through the careful and sensitive direction of John Crowley. The production design brings adds a lovely texture to the film without resorting to gimmicky cliches. Eilis' quest for self discovery is timeless, delightful and comes highly recommended. (ME)
88th Academy Awards
2016 BAFTA Awards
5th AACTA International Awards
22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards
73rd Golden Globe Awards