Directed by John Crowley
In 1950s Ireland and New York, young Ellis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries.
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★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
imagine THE IMMIGRANT as written by Nicholas Sparks and you'll be on the right track. ...but much more charming than that sounds. it's lightweight stuff with all sorts of issues, and it's absolutely insane that this can't be a studio film in the current climate, but Saoirse Ronan sells every damn second of it.
★★★★ review by brat pitt on Letterboxd
me, watching this & crying about moving back to college that's only 2 hours away from my hometown: (sighs dramatically) my life is just as hard as emigrating from ireland to brooklyn by boat in 1951
★★★★½ review by Travis Lytle on Letterboxd
Lovely, moving, and completely involving, John Crowley's "Brooklyn" plays like a prestige picture from the past but with a contemporary sensibility. Unfolding in the early 1950s, the drama examines the concept of home and, most importantly, the idea that home is most profound recognized when it is of one's own making.
Following Saoirse Ronan's Eilis, a young Irish woman who leaves her home for the more vibrant economic opportunities of the US, "Brooklyn" revolves around Eilis's attempt to find her way in a new country while holding on to her Irish roots. Nick Hornby's screenplay tosses in romance, loss, and temptation, but narrative is steadfastly grounded and elevates its triter touches.
The story's theme provides the film with its emotional center and heartbeat. The drama's examination of home and whether it is the place of one's birth and personal traditions or it is what one creates for herself fuels the piece. Again, what could have been handled with a trite touch is communicated with grace and soulfulness.
Crowley's film pays attention to detail and builds a world rich in the sights and sounds of what once was. Sets, props, and accents sell the Brooklyn of the mid-century. It is a lush and visually inviting world where colors and textures pop on a canvas of brick and grass.
Crowley's cast is excellent, and Ronan makes a centered, quietly impassioned, and likable protagonist. She anchors the drama but is surrounded by solid turns by Emory Cohen, Julie Walters, and Jane Brennan.
"Brooklyn" follows in the tradition of the best costume dramas, but there is nothing stuffy or stiff about the film. It is a pleasing, touching, and fully realized tale that benefits from a fresh sense of self, well-placed cast, and delightful visual signature. "Brooklyn" is a completely enjoyable piece of work.
★★★★½ review by Jordan Rowe on Letterboxd
Gorgeously-shot and emotionally rich, "Brooklyn" is a nuanced, moving, heartfelt story about love and family, carried by a terrific central performance from Saoirse Ronan.
★★★½ review by CinemaClown on Letterboxd
Crafted with care, told with elegance & resonating a deep sense of warmth throughout its runtime, Brooklyn is the story of an immigrant that sensibly illustrates the struggles faced when trying to adjust to a new environment with people you don't know & places you aren't familiar with, and not only does it work as a wonderful coming-of-age drama but also succeeds as a pleasant love story.
Based on the novel of the same name, the story of Brooklyn takes place during the early 1950s and follows a young Irish immigrant who leaves her hometown to seek a better future in the titular town of New York where, after struggling for a while, she manages to bring some stability in her life. But when an unexpected tragedy strikes back home, she's forced to confront her past and make a hard choice.
Directed by John Crowley, the plot is divided into three segments with the first one focusing on her inexperience & the difficult time she endures during her initial days in the new country. The second segment covers her life in Brooklyn and the new things she experiences there while the last one brings her back to the place she went away from where circumstances compel her to make a decision that will alter her future.
Written by Nick Hornby, the movie tackles the issues faced by immigrants in a lightweight manner plus the characters are quite compelling. The set pieces are reminiscent of the timeline it tries to depict, Cinematography uses different colour tones for each of the three segments while its bright lighting keeps the ambience more inviting. Editing unravels the plot in a controlled way and pace is never hurried. Plus, all the period drama elements are nicely handled.
Coming to the performances, Brooklyn packs a fine cast in Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters & others, and all of them are convincing in their given roles. Effortlessly stealing the show is Ronan who carries the whole film all by herself plus her excellent performance is this flick's real highlight. Cohen & Gleeson chip in with fine supporting work while Walters is a treat to watch even if her appearance is quite brief.
On an overall scale, Brooklyn is a heartwarming, captivating & fulfilling movie that's as much about growing up & finding your identity in life as it is about love & relationships, is powered by a strong lead performance from Saoirse Ronan, and addresses its universal themes in a grounded manner. Expertly directed, deftly written, exquisitely photographed, patiently edited, consistently paced & aptly scored, Brooklyn is one of the better films of 2015 and is definitely worth a shot.
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