- Movie Rating -

Brooklyn (2015)

| November 8, 2015

The first word that floats around in your mind as you approach the end of the first act of Brooklyn is ‘lovely’.  This is a lovely film.  It is lovely to look at, lovely to listen to, lovely to comfort yourself with which is strange since this is a movie about an immigrant.  That would be problem if the movie had nothing to say, but this is a film about an immigrant to American that breaks away from our collective notion that immigration means Ellis Island or Mexicans crossing the border.  The home-spun notion of immigration to America may have been scribed as huddled masses yearning to breathe free but for the individual it can be something, well . . . quite lovely.

The immigrant in this case is a young Irish woman making her way to America and struggling with her new home while at the same time feeling a yearning for what she has left behind.  The girl is Eilis Lacey (Saorse Ronan), a small-town girl who is sent to New York by her older sister for a chance at a better life.  Life in America begins with accouterments like a room, a job at a department store and a menial education in accounting.  Hey, that ain’t bad. 

Pretty soon the loneliness and yearning for the familiar begin to plague young Eilis’ mind.  When things look their darkest, she then meets an Italian American plumber named Tony (Emory Cohen) who is handsome, good-natured and is a hopeless romantic.  They have a very sweet little romance.  But then, of course, problems occur when Eilis has to go back home because of a family tragedy and, back in Ireland, is pulled back into her responsibilities that may keep her there.

This is the kind of stuff that light romantic novels are made of and, in fact, this is based on a light romantic novel.  But it’s not any kind of empty-headed nonsense.  The performances here are surprisingly good, particularly Ronan who has become one of those actresses that you think could turn any role into gold.  What she draws from Eilis is the kind of problematic duality that comes from being so far from home, far from the familiar and far from her comforts.  She is an immigrant in a new land whose ties to home are never severed.  This is, again, a lovely film but not an insignificant one.  I liked it very much.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2015) View IMDB Filed in: Drama