Thursday, January 17th, 2019


Posted on February 01, 2016 in Arts & Culture, Movie Reviews
By USM Free Press

By John Rocker

Brooklyn follows a young Irish woman named Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) as she makes the journey from Ireland to the United States in the 1950s. While adjusting to her new life in Brooklyn, Eilis meets a young Italian man named Tony (Emory Cohen), and they develop a close relationship. As this relationship blossoms, Eilis goes back to Ireland, and she realizes that she may have missed her old life in Ireland more than her new life in Brooklyn. This movie can simply be defined as a love story, but it certainly is an effective one. After all, this film did get nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and there are plenty of reasons why.  As mentioned, the story is well made and well written. Early on in the film, Eilis is stricken with homesickness, which is conveyed so well that you can feel the emotion that she’s feeling. Perhaps homesickness just a feeling that most people can understand, but there are plenty of other emotions at play here that most people have experienced at some point in their lives, which allows the film to hit relatable emotional notes that makes the story so engaging. What further enhances the story is the fantastic performance of Saoirse Ronan, who makes Eilis’s  sincerity feel believable. Really, all the characters feel genuine. Even if certain actorsare only in  the film for a few short scenes, they commit to their roles and that’s something that can be appreciated. The film also has some humorous moments, which is helped by the writing.

One thing that this film shows is how difficult adapting to a new lifestyle is. Living in Ireland and living in the United States in the 1950s were two different things, and the differences are shown well in this movie. One example is when Eilis and Tony plan on going to the beach and Eilis’s boarding house roommates suggest that she get sunglasses because if she doesn’t, it would look weird. That’s just one of the many examples. The pacing for this film is also good. The runtime is under two hours, and each scene felt like it mattered to the story and weren’t plodding.

If there’s anything negative to say about this film–and there really isn’t much–it’s the lackluster direction. With how the camera shakes sometime, it seems  like the film  was recorded on a handheld camera at points. This is more of a personal gripe than it is legitimate criticism, and it’s a very minor thing. This really didn’t ruin the experience of watching the film, but it is noticeable if you start to pay attention to it very carefully.

Overall, Brooklyn is a charming film with great performances and a good story. If you’re looking for a heartfelt film, then this is the film for you. Recommendation: Go see it this weekend.


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