HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unseen, The
Tonight She Comes
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  Brooklyn Beyond The SeaBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: John Crowley
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Maeve McGrath, Fiona Glascott, Jane Brennan, Eileen O'Higgins, Eva Birthistle, Emily Bett Rickards, Eve Macklin, Nora-Jane Noone, Jessica Paré, Samantha Munro, Jenn Murray
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is the early nineteen-fifties and Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is a young woman in rural Ireland pondering her prospects in this remote part of the world, where everyone is in everyone else's business and it looks like the best she has to look forward to is a life as a shop assistant unless she can better herself in some way. Certainly she has no desire to stay where she works at the moment, with her boss a cruel taskmistress, so when she received word from New York City from the priest there, Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), that she can have a job all ready to go and not only that but study at college as well, she decides to take him up on the offer. Yet the pull of home is strong, will she be able to resist it?

Brooklyn was a film that with its subject matter of emigration could have been made at any time throughout the history of cinema, as people of many nations had been travelling to the United States with hope in their hearts for longer than film had been a medium. But it was Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name that prompted this to be made with its overriding theme of being torn between two places, where you come from and where you're going to, that proved universal even if you didn't plan on moving to a different country at some stage in your life, because nothing lasts forever and there were always going to be differences that meant your destination was always going to be different from your point of origin.

Finding that universality was a very careful performance by Saoirse Ronan, admitting in interviews that this was the most personal of her films as her parents were immigrants to New York where she was born, then they moved back to Ireland to bring her up there, so she could relate with at times painful accuracy to that predicament of not being certain where your heart lay, as Eilis is in the story. Indeed, the stakes were raised further when the plot provided ever more accumulating reasons to stay in either America or Ireland, leaving us uncertain of where she should settle, and in effect making up her mind for her as we watched. Did she make the right decision, ultimately? That was for you to decide.

Supporting Ronan's soulful performance were a selection of mostly Irish and British cast members, with Emory Cohen playing Eilis' first love Tony Fiorello one of the few Americans present, though Jessica Paré as her boss in the department store she moves to was Canadian. With that bias in the actors, you would imagine the film preferred the Eastern side of the Atlantic to the Western, but it didn’t really work out that way, as always with the European view of North America there was that draw, be it through believing the Land of Opportunity promises or merely because the pop culture that was spread throughout the world made it look such an exciting and desirable place to be. In effect this set up Eilis' feelings about where she was trying to establish herself and whether it was worth it at all.

This wasn't all dour shots of Ronan gazing wistfully into the distance at either ends of the ocean, as Nick Hornby's screenplay included many moments of humour to offset the heartbreak, quite a few expertly delivered by Julie Walters as the owner of the Brooklyn boarding house our heroine stays in; the scenes where she banters with her girls about various subjects from religion to relationships were definite highlights and spoke to a potential sitcom. This emphasis on the benefits and drawbacks of a family grounding was even discernible in those sequences, and when Eilis meets Tony's relations it was only underlined, but even more so when tragedy strikes Eilis' folks back home and she cannot get back to console her mother until a while after the funeral. If you were thinking, uh-oh, misery memoir, there was an element of that, but it didn't overpower what was a nicely nuanced, if very conventional, tale of a young woman’s dilemma, though it was Ronan's sympathetic playing that anchored it. Music by Michael Brook.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 728 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: