Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Brooklyn (John Crowley/2015)
Whether capturing the windy dunes of the Irish coast or the rays of sunshine in New York, Brooklyn feeds that insatiable appetite for home. Resting on the shoulders of Saoirse Ronan, this is the tale of Eilis Lacey. In the sleepy village of Enniscorthy, her sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) knows there’s limited prospects in Ireland and ensures Eilis lives a better life in America. After a rocky ride on the ferry, her shy demeanour and sensible manner (though impressing the quirky landlady of the boarding house) seems to be at odds with the busyness of Brooklyn’s city streets. Father Flood (Broadbent) settles her mind and, falling for a cheeky Italian lad and beginning night school, things begin to work out – until tragedy pulls Eilis back to Enniscorthy. Colm Tóibín’s wildly successful novel has been adapted here by Nick Hornby, neatly balancing the effective romance with subtle nuance. Director John Crowley surrounds Eilis with exquisite costumes and a range of inviting sets to envelope us into this warm and welcoming world. The crashing waves on an empty beach take our breath away yet the opportunities presented to Eilis in Brooklyn (in addition to a loveable Irish community), is equally exciting to be amongst; you can see her conflict. Sadly, the tale is predictable and lacks the dramatic weight to truly elevate the emotional impact. But Brooklyn, and Ronan herself, still wins over your heart through gentle nudges and sincere intentions while capturing an era that only exists in romantic dreams.