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Brooklyn Movie Review

Director: John Crowley

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Jessica Paré, Eve Macklin, Bríd Brennan, Fiona Glascott, Jane Brennan, Nora-Jane Noone, Jenn Murray, Eva Birthistle, Michael Zegen, Eileen O'Higgins, Peter Campion, Emily Bett Rickards, Mary O'Driscoll, Ellen David, Christian de la Cortina, Paulino Nunes, James DiGiacomo, Karen Ardiff, Gary Lydon

Oscar Wins: No wins.

Other Nominations: Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture

If I had to describe this movie in a word, it would be ‘lovely’. What a refreshing, heart-warming and beautiful movie this is. With an almost nostalgic feel of classic cinematic works, Brooklyn tells the story of a girl named Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) and her decision to start a new life for herself by moving from a small town in Ireland to a big city in America – specifically Brooklyn, NY.

Upon arriving in America, Eilis is overcome with homesickness. Though she receives letters from her family and resides in an Irish boardinghouse, she struggles to fit into traditional ‘American culture’. It’s not until she meets an Italian boy by the name of Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen) that Eilis finally feels a sense of belonging.

With his unmitigated charm and stereotypical Italian swagger, Tony softly coaxes Eilis out of her shell, and their relationship begins to bloom. It’s soft and romantic…intimate and fresh. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a romantic film like this and I was completely swept up in their love for each other. There are no grandiose gestures, no hot and heavy sex scenes – rather he offers her his arm when walking her home from night class and rides home with her on the bus just to simply be by her side. It’s how I like to imagine ‘the good ol’ days’ were, when getting to know someone didn’t happen over a phone or a computer, but over coffee and parlor games.

At its heart, Brooklyn is a romantic coming-of-age story about a young girl trapped between who she was and who she wants to be. Back home, Eilis has history – a mother and a sister, friends and family that know and love her. But in America, Eilis finds a future, a job, a man she loves. What’s a girl to do?

The idea of home courses through this movie and hits hard for anyone who’s ever left what they know and love for a better life. Is home where the heart is or is it the other way around? Once we’ve flown the coop, can we ever REALLY go home again? Or maybe the idea of home can mold and change as we do.


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