Best Picture Nominee Review: Brooklyn

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Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

 

Brooklyn is the story of a young Irish immigrant, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) as she finds herself in her new home. Set in 1950s Brooklyn, Eilis navigates her feelings of home sickness after she moves away from her family in Ireland to make a better life for herself in America.

Her sadness seems to consume her affecting her job at Bartocci’s, a local department store, and her ability to build any type of relationship with the people around her. She completely isolates herself from the other girls living in her boarding house.

Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), the local priest and the person who arranged everything for her in Brooklyn, steps in and enrolls her in night classes so she can become a certified bookkeeper just like her sister Rose.

One Saturday night at the Irish dance sponsored by the church, Eilis meets Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen) a young Italian plumber who goes to the dances because “he likes Irish girls.”

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Emory Cohen and Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn. Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

That was the beginning of a whirlwind romance. He is chivalrous, kind, funny and is the one person that allows Eilis to be herself. They balance each other out in a beautiful way.

When you think things are going to all work out. Eilis gets some news that rocks her to the core. Her sister Rose dies unexpectedly. Her mother asks her the return to Ireland so she won’t be alone. Not sure what to so she turns to Tony for comfort. They decide to get married in a secret ceremony at the town hall before she sets sail for Ireland.

In Ireland her best friend Nancy along with her fiancé set Eilis up on a date with Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson). She then experiences the life she wished for before moving to America. She has a job at the office her sister Rose used to work at, and she met a man that was interested in her.

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Domhnall Gleeson and Saoirse Ronan in BROOKLYN. Photo by Kerry Brown. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

After a confrontation with her old boss, she must decide whether or not to stay in Ireland or return to Brooklyn and be with Tony.

It isn’t necessarily a question of who is the better guy, where is the better job, but which place allows her to be herself in the fullest form.

This film is beautiful in every way. It’s a simplistic film about love, sadness, and finding your place in the world. I must say this was one of my favorite films of the season. Everything seemed to work together flawlessly from the writing, acting, directing, and costume design.

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Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Saoirse Ronan is a vision in this film. It’s as if Eilis was made for her. Her eyes and mannerisms showed the evolution of Eilis as she found herself and endured heartbreaking sadness. If Brie Larson wasn’t in the same category, Saoirse would have the Best Actress Oscar without a doubt.

The casting of Tony and Jim was very smart as well. Emory Cohen is Tony. His boyish grin and loving heart draws the audience in as well as Eilis. Domhnall Gleeson is stoic and steadfast. He plays the rock that almost causes Eilis to stay.

With beautiful subtleties from the Irish singer on Christmas to the parallels of Eilis on her first trip to America and her trip back to the brilliant ending scene, this film is refreshing and must see.

*Click Brooklyn at the top of the page to watch the trailer.*

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