Monday, May 2, 2016

Movie Review: Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn (2015) directed by John Crowley

Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) is a young woman working part time at a grocer's store in a small Irish town. She doesn't have many prospects so her sister has arranged with an Irish priest in America for passage  to the New World. Eilis is excited but worried. It's 1951, so she still has to take an ocean voyage. The trip is rough because of the weather and the inconsiderate people who share her cabin's bathroom. Her roommate helps with the situation and gives Eilis a lot of good advice to get through customs and immigration. Eilis is soon settled in a boarding house with four other young Irish women and a job at a local department store. She is very homesick and shy, so the priest, Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), gives her some more help--he has her signed up for night classes in accounting. She goes to the church's weekly dance where she meets a nice young man, Tony, who is Italian. Her homesickness melts away as she becomes more comfortable with her new home. She faces more problems when a tragedy happens back in Ireland.

The movie is very sweet and charming. While the romance is the central element of the story, the movie also gives an interesting look at the immigrant experience. Saoirse Ronan gives a great performance as Eilis, a very likable if not perfect character. Her challenges are interesting and compelling. The story is very satisfying dramatically as well as romantically.

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