Maybe the trailers didn’t do this movie justice, but I didn’t look forward to seeing this movie. I’ll be honest, I thought it looked boring. However, Brooklyn turned out to be one of my favorites of 2015, and I think it has contenders for several Oscars. Today I’ll go verdict first: it is a great romance movie that husbands and boyfriends can enjoy as much as their wives/girlfriends/partners—it’s not a romance that is a painful chick flick. On the contrary, it is a nicely told love story with some nuanced performances by a fresh-faced cast.
Small town Irish lass Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) sets sail for New York as her prospects are few back in Enniscorthy, Ireland. The movie succeeds, I think, due to its careful portrayal of the time period. There is a parade of ’50s fashion, and the movie examines the social mores of the time which look quaint by today’s standards. The bumpy boat ride across from Ireland is not exactly a Carnival Cruise, and Eilis gets housed in a dormitory for women like they had back then in Brooklyn. She fights her homesickness while acclimating to the new environment. After getting a bit Americanized, Eilis ventures to youth mixers that contain a lot of white-people dancing, and the girls are all hoping to land “a fella.” Will some lucky guy get to first base? Will they call her an “Irish harlot” for showing too much ankle under her poodle skirt? Only viewers of Brooklyn will get to know.
This movie is worth seeing on the big screen due to the captivating presence of its star Saoirse Ronan (YouTube tells me her name is pronounced Seer-Shah). Her luminous Celtic beauty will no doubt earn her photo shoots in many magazines. In addition to Ms. Ronan, her supporting cast shines with brilliant performances by Julie Walters (Harry Potter) and Jessica Paré (Mad Men).
Have a gander at Brooklyn’s boring trailer, which doesn’t convey how good this movie is. Check out Brooklyn, and see you back here in 2016!
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Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Irish Film Board