This charming and beautiful film based on Colm Tóibín’s novel shows what it is like when your heart is divided between two countries.
The story follows Eilis as she moves from Ireland to New York to start a new life. As she begins to settle down and enjoy her new life, a family tragedy calls her home, where she discovers there is a possibility for a new future for her in Ireland.
This adaptation by Nick Hornby and directed by John Crowley is a very character driven piece of drama that has a strong plot that manages to capture the audience’s attention from beginning to end.
While on the surface it appears to be simply a film about following your heart, it is actually about family, relationships and making the right decisions about your life – no matter how difficult it is.
Brooklyn features some beautiful performances from all involved but in particular Saoirse Ronan as Eilis – who begins as a shy, naive young woman struggling to find her way to blossoming into a confident and bold woman with a joy for life.
There is also great support from Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent – although it seems as though perhaps they were slightly underused in places considering the strength of their characters. Julie Walters in particular is as sharp as ever as Madge Kehoe – a personality that certainly puts a smile on your face. Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson as Tony and Jim are both equally charming but it is difficult to see much character development – which is more down to the screenplay as opposed to the actor’s performances.
The main issue with the film is that there are so many different characters involved – despite some of them not appearing in the film for very long and it makes you question whether their characters were really needed in the film.
John Crowley has directed this with great sensitivity and understanding of the characters and it is wonderful to see how the film manages to engage with the audience emotionally consistently.
There are so many beautiful moments to enjoy – such as when Eilis leaves Ireland for the first time, the music and slow motion images really convey her isolation and loneliness or the phone call that she receives from home after a family tragedy strikes is so exquisitely filmed that it captures the devastation and realisation of how far away Eilis is perfectly.
While the ending is slightly predictable, it is the journey to get there that is fascinating to witness and Brooklyn certainly deserves the Oscar nominations that it is has received. A lovely, joyful film that is a celebration of life, friendship and love.
Brooklyn is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from the 29th February. It is available to pre-order from Amazon now.