Telling the moving story of a confused and homesick young woman named Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), Brooklyn is directed by John Crowley (True Detective) with Nick Hornby (Wild, About a Boy) adapting Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name.
In 1952, Eilis Lacey leaves her Ireland home for Brooklyn where she stays in a boarding house with four other girls and a strict landlady. In her new environment, she gets a job, meets a boy, and gets along well with her housemates. Her happiness is bounded though, for the lady misses her home.
Saoirse Ronan is far from a household name, with most people probably mispronouncing it to boot [pronounced “SEER-sha”]. Brooklyn will help to fix that. Since Crowley doesn’t throw in any visual flair, the audience is solely watching and listening to the actors. In just about every scene of the 112-minute film, Ronan mans the fort with ease.
Eilis acts on instinct, jumping at opportunities with hopes of finding success. She doesn’t seem to have much of a goal – granted she doesn’t have many options being a young Irish woman in New York. She goes with the wind, and doing so brings her success. As the character gets swept up in her new and wonderful life, it slowly comes crashing down in an almost thrilling third act.
Ronan is joined by a very solid cast including Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters. Director John Crowley manages his team well, with each and every one of them doing justice to Nick Hornby’s powerful script. Brooklyn is an impressive display of talent, and those looking for a serious and well-told love story should seek this one out.