Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson
Script: Nick Hornby based on a novel by Colm Tóibín
Director: John Crowley
Length: 1h 52m
An Irish girl named Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) gets the chance at a new and exciting life in 1950s New York. Leaving her mother and sister, at home in the small Southern Irish town of Enniscorthy, she heads to New York to work as a department store clerk whilst studying to become a book keeper. She quickly falls in love with a young Italian plumber named Tony (Emory Cohen) and they marry in secret.
However when she returns home to mourn the sudden death of her sister she finds that she is drawn to Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson). The question at this point might be: why? Jim Farrell seems a less interesting character than Tony and as she is recently married it’s a strange turn of events. To compound this problem Ronan and Gleeson never seem to conjure up much more than fleeting interest in one another. The film is billed as having a love triangle at the heart of the story, but this relation never really seems fully formed.
It’s a very beautifully directed and produced film. Director John Crowley adds style and nuance to the film. The sets and scenery are beautiful.
Saoirse Ronan produces another fine performance despite her young age she is a superb actress and will no doubt continue to flourish winning many awards (including no doubt an Oscar for this performance) along the way. She has a very bright career ahead of her. She belies her diminutive stature and hitherto (to some) somewhat unknown status by headlining this film with style and skilful acting.
Domhnall Gleeson however is wasted. The more I watch him in different films, the more I find him to be somewhat robotic. At first I thought it was an acting choice but I’m starting to seriously doubt his ability as an actor that is able to take on varied roles and convince as different characters. Time will tell. He has tons of potential.
Emory Cohen has a fairly small role and he does all he can with it. But this is Ronan’s film. She appears in almost every frame of the film. She is wonderful: strong, but vulnerable, knowing but naive. Ronan gets to do it all in this film. It’d stretch most actors beyond their abilities but Ronan just keeps getting better producing astonishing performances time after time (The Lovely Bones, Hanna, Byzantium, How I Live Now). She is an actress who will keep getting better. Put her against her contemporaries such as Jennifer Lawrence (a good actress) and she blows her away. Yet this is her first proper lead role where she carries the entire film.
Brooklyn is old-fashion, slow-burn entertainment. At times (such as when Eilis goes back to Ireland) it’s too slow, and her ‘relationship’ with Jim Farrell) verging on boring, but stick with it, the performances including all the support cast featuring Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters are excellent and they round out a well acted, if slightly plot-lite film.
Brooklyn - trailer