FILM REVIEW - BROOKLYN
Directed by John Crowley.
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen.
A charming homage to a simpler age of filmmaking.
The take-home message from Brooklyn, John Crowley’s adaption of Colm Tóibín’s emigration narrative, is that opportunities for Ireland’s young have not improved in 60 odd years.
Beginning in 1951, Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) leaves her family and friends behind in no-hope rural Ireland in pursuit of the American dream. She spends the first few weeks weeping into her bacon and cabbage; homesick, desperately lonely. But when Ellis falls for twinkly-eyed Italian plumber Antonio (Emory Cohen), life in America doesn’t seem quite so bad after all. A sudden tragedy sends Ellis back to Ireland and into the arms of wealthy, charming Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson). With two lovers in two countries, Ellis is faced with the choice of staying at home or returning to her new life.
Heavily indebted to the work of Douglas Sirk, Brooklyn is a charming homage to a simpler age of filmmaking. John Crowley’s hands-off directional style allows source material to speak for itself. Ronan and Gleeson are two of our finest young actors, and each delivers a performance of understated, subtle dexterity. But the true standout of Brooklyn is Cohen.
It’s occasionally prone to cliché (with emerald green coat and red hair, Ellis is the epitome of the stereotypical cailín). The DVD will fly off the shelves at Bunratty Castle gift shop.