Friday, December 11, 2015

Brooklyn: Movie Review


   


Beautiful, well-written, powerful
Brooklyn is a beautiful and simply powerful film about life, love, adulthood and home. It’s a story of immigration that should resonate with everybody. How one girl chose her home, and made it her home and the home for her family and future generations to come. It’s a story of loneliness, true love, and the pull of familiarity. It’s a singular story, that revels in it’s simplicity, to reveal grander implications and a universality to connect everyone. 2015

Directed by: John Crowley

Screenplay by: Nick Hornby
Based on the novel by Colm Toibin

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson

Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is a 20-ish girl from Ireland. It’s a barely comfortable existence – she has her widowed mother, an older sister, and a job at a grocery store, but that’s it, no prospects for a better life, be it a husband or a better job. And of she goes to the United States to build herself a new life. One of the key things that really makes this story resonate is that Eilis is not the type of person who can just make that decision. She’s a creature of habit, not a risk-taker, and we know that this journey is more scary than it is exciting.

The audience will be on Eilis’s side once she gets a case of seasickness on her trip across the Atlantic, and is forced to take to a bucket to relieve her diarrhea. Poor girl is embarrassed and this is not the way you want to start a life-changing voyage.

New York is better – she has a job, she has a place to live, but everything is different and she hates it. She knows she has homesickness, but what she doesn’t know is how to cure it – time is just too frustrating of an answer. But here’s the magic of the movie, she keeps persevering, she creates a life for herself. The change in her character is so subtle, but it’s also undeniably there. She figured out who she was, she has a home.

Of course along with this comfort with herself, is love. Meet Tony (Emory Cohen) a second-generation Italian American who fell for Eilis at first sight, she was a little more cautious. It was a gorgeously funny and sweet exploration of love, making the audience and Eilis forget about her yearning for Ireland.

Like all good movies, once comfort sets in, something has to happen to switch everything up. Tragedy strikes back home and Eilis returns to Ireland. Tony’s convinced she’s never coming back, Eilis just wants to check on her family, but suddenly her prospects in Ireland seem much better than they were before and she has to make a choice.

Brooklyn is beautifully photographed, has a superbly written screenplay that strikes all the right notes and resonates so deeply with that audience that we’re left figuring out where home is along with Eilis.