This heart-warming story is an adaptation by Nick Hornby of Colm Tóibín’s novel about a young Irish girl Eilis Lacey, Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Atonement), whom is forced to escape poverty and a lack of prospects in 1950’s Ireland. For this reason, aided by her sister, Fiona Glascott (Resident Evil, Apartment 143), and Father Flood, Jim Broadbent (TV’s London Spy, The Lady in the Van, Iris), Eilis must embark on a journey as an immigrant for a new life in Brooklyn, New York.
Finding herself in Brooklyn, Eilis has pre-arranged accommodation with Mrs. Keogh, Julie Walters (Mamma Mia, Harry Potter franchise), and a new job. With the help of Farther Flood, the life that was seems distant.
From the outset, characters feel real due to the quality of the script, high standard of acting and how well they bounce off each other with no uncomfortable moments. For this reason, empathy is felt for the young heroin right from the beginning and you are drawn further into her life and the troubles she faces.
There are some great subtle and non-subtle comedic moments during the movie. The banter between Eilis and Tony, Emory Cohen, (The Gambler, The Place Beyond The Pines) when they initially meet and begin courting is a great example of the subtle humour. Again, chatter around Mrs Keogh’s table with all the girls contributes to the depth and quality of the movie.
The whole experience is visually pleasing and the 1950s were recreated exceptionally well. There were BAFTA nominations for Make-up and Hair, and Costume Design.
Cinematography is excellent, almost framing certain moments throughout the film. Examples of this include Eilis’ arrival in America which was very dream-like, a visit to the beach seemed like a picture postcard and an extremely happy scene where the trees and sunlight looked heavenly.
With an interesting and immersive story and superb acting, this visually striking and emotional tale leaves you with a warm feeling inside. Brooklyn is a true pleasure to watch.