Saturday, 24 February 2018

Brooklyn (2015)

Lady Bird is the only place I've seen Saoirse Ronan before. She was so good in it, I decided I'd give a chance to her previous movies as well, and I started with Brooklyn, for obvious reasons. I mean, Saorise got an Oscar nomination for the role, the film for best picture and the script for best adapted screenplay (it didn't win any though).

Ireland, early 1950s. Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is an ambitious young woman working in a grocery shop with no future in Ireland. With the help of her sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) and an Irish priest (Jim Broadbent) already living there, she leaves for Brooklyn, New York. She's very homesick at first, but then she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), an American-Italian young fella. They fall in love but soon a tragedy strikes and Eilis must go back to Ireland. 

Based on Colm Tóibín's novel Brooklyn, the story itself is quite thin, predictable and at times too slow to really hold your attention. Though there's drama --not an exaggeration of it, thankfully--, there isn't a lot of conflict. But that's what makes this so good, its simplicity is what makes it feel real and believable, and overall, the straightforward, lighthearted story is very heartwarming.

Anyway, the actual plot isn't that important here because Brooklyn does much more than telling a story, it shows the struggles faced by someone who finds himself/herself in a new environment where doesn't know people nor places. It is about finding your own place in the world and, dealing with self-discovery, love and death, it works beautifully as a coming-of-age.

In addition, Brooklyn also has a nice love story. It's simple, predictable also, but it is so sweet and sensitive it draws you in immediately, and when Eilis eventually falls for a local (Donmhall Gleeson) back in Ireland, you cannot help but hope she goes back to America to Tony. At least, it did that to me. Also, the chemistry between Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen feels so natural and authentic, you cannot not root for them. 

Fox Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate

That being said, the film wouldn't be the same without the marvellous Saoirse Ronan, who carries the whole film on her shoulders. She gives such a calm, sensitive, sincere and heartfelt performance as Eilis. She is able to convey all of the character's inner struggles through her eyes or minimal movements, and you can feel her inner battle in nearly every scene. The supporting cast also does a good job. Emory Cohen is so charming and confident as Tony, you too will fall in love with him. Julie Walters is great as usual as Mrs. Kehoe, Eilis's landlady, and provides the film with some comic relief; Jim Broadbent also shines as the Irish priest living in America; Brid Brennan gives a heartbreaking performance as Eilis's mother; Domnhall Gleeson does the best he can with his boring character.

At last, Yves Bélanger's cinematography is beautiful, especially in the romantic scenes, and so are the costumes, sets and the score. 

14 comments :

  1. Great review! I loved Brooklyn, I thought it was an excellent adaptation of the book and Saoirse was perfect in it.

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    1. Thanks! I haven't read the book but I'm going to. Sooner or later.

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  2. This was a good film but I was annoyed because the script made it seem like Eilis was spineless and just followed whatever she would be told. Even that moment when she goes back to her husband is dictated by a threat. Her decision making process didn't translate for me, though the book makes her intentions much clearer.

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    1. I haven't read the book but you're right about her going back to her husband because threatened. I'll try to read the book as soon as possible.

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  3. Great review! I felt the same about this film. It was a sweet movie with a strong performance by Ronan and same with the man she loves..on film:). The costumes are great and so is the cinematography but I did feel it was slow in areas and the writing was good but it is the acting and the visual look of the film that makes you stay interested

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

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  4. I enjoyed this film as I think it shows exactly what kind of an actress Saoirse Ronan is and what she is able to do where she can express so much by doing little as it would continue with Lady Bird as she's definitely the go-to-actress for great performances while not taking herself seriously like.... ugh.... J-Law.

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    1. I've only seen her in Lady Bird and this but she is so good I'll check out more of her films.

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    2. I'd recommend seeing her in Atonement and Hanna and if you're into weird films. Check out Lost River.

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    3. Hanna has been on my list for years. I'll make sure to check out the others too. Thanks!

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  5. Good movie but - most important thing - great Saoirse! :)

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  6. Nice review! I completely agree - it's one of my favorites in recent years. It's a perfect blend of comedy, romance, and drama, and Saoirse is absolutely wonderful. Her chemistry with Emory and Domhnall is wonderful too.

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    1. Thanks! Saoirse did even better than she did in Lady Bird in my opinion.

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