For Brooklyn, I was able to go into it not knowing a thing about the plot. All I knew were the main actors involved, and that’s it. Brooklyn could have been the place or the main characters name.
It is wonderful.
Of course, now you should read this review and have that feeling taken away from you. Or stop now, see my star rating, and watch it on your own in the future. It is up to you, reader. You are the one who has all the power!
That face you make when you just get propositioned with dick pics.
Our stars name is not Brooklyn, but it is Eilis (Saoirse Ronan). It is 1951, and she is living in small town Ireland. Yes, that means you will be hearing a lot of sexy accents in this one. Times are tough in Ireland, but when are they not? She lives with her older sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) and her Mami (Jane Brennan). Rose has a nice life as a bookkeeper for a local company, but Eilis cannot find work. She works at a small convenience store only on Sundays with mean old Miss Kelly (Brid Brennan).
But things are about to change. Thanks to Rose for help, she reached out to a Catholic priest from their area, Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), who lives in NYC. He has agreed to pay for Eilis to come to the city, with a job lined up for her and a place to stay. That way she can make money and make a living of her self. I won’t tell you where specifically in NYC she will work and live, but I bet you can figure it out. Eilis just has to leave everything she has ever known behind, including her BFF Nancy (Eileen O’Higgins).
Unfortunately, life is hard for Eilis. She is not fun and outgoing and always reserved. She is homesick. She is sad. But all that changes when she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), an Italian boy. He teaches her a lot of things, giving her confidence in herself and makes life wonderful. But when circumstances have her return to Ireland for a time, she finds things quite different. Suddenly, a job is available to her, she has things she can do, and there is an available boy, Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson), right now in her home town that is perfect for her. She has to decide if she should go back to her first love in NYC, a city she has made her own, but at the cost of again, her family and friends back across the pond.
Also featuring a handful of other women. Jessica Paré plays her boss, Julie Walters her housekeeper, and the other boarders are played by Emily Bett Rickards, Eve Macklin, Nora-Jane Noone, and Jenn Murray.
The true love test is to try and make a heart between your bodies.
Brooklyn doesn’t have fancy things. It has a simple plot, and it is all focused on a young girl trying to make her own decisions and not let the world make them for her. The description of the film isn’t sexy in any way. A simple plot means a simple story. But in this case, this simple story is one that was actually worth being told.
Now I will admit, yes, it did turn into a “which guy (/lifestyle) should I choose” film, so some may find it too romance heavy. And I admit, that if she made the choice I didn’t like, I would have been angry and you would have been seeing a much different review.
Ronan is utterly fantastic in this movie. I am a bit mad that it took this long into the year for me to see a movie where I can see someone who definitely will be nominated for Best Actress. And no, I haven’t seen Room yet. Best Actress is always my weakest category when it comes to seeing this ahead of time, so I am glad I have something at this point. Did I mention Ronan was also great? Her accent, her mannerisms, everything about her was wonderful.
Brooklyn also had the unique characteristic that it felt much longer, in a good way. When she finally got back to Ireland, I assume it only had about five minutes left, but again, I was surprised.
Brooklyn is a simple tale, but a good story, and some great acting. Accents are the cherry on top.
3 out of 4.