REVIEW: ‘Brooklyn’


  • John Crowley


  • Saoirse Ronan
  • Jim Broadbent
  • Julie Walters
  • Emory Cohen
  • Fiona Glascott
  • Rated: PG-13

“Brooklyn” follows the story of a young Irish woman named Eilis (Ronan), who gets a great opportunity to leave her homeland and travel to New York. While this does lead to a heartbreaking experience for her since she has to leave her mother and sister behind, her arrival in Brooklyn does offer some life changing moments.

As she begins to work at a new job and live at a boarding house, Eilis also meets a young man named Tony (Cohen). The two hit it off quickly and develop a strong relationship. Problems start to arise, though, when tragedy occurs in Ireland that may pull Eilis away from her new life in the states.

“Brooklyn” is a tremendously charming film, from its recreation of New York City in the 1950s, to the characters in the boarding house and especially the adorable romance between Eilis and Tony. The first two acts of the film are an absolute joy to watch as Eilis grows as a character and starts to fit in more and more with her new life.

The third act, on the other hand, completes the film by adding a little bit of drama, but it doesn’t get to the point where it gets over the top. There is certainly a conflict in the last third of the movie, but it’s handled in a very classy, well thought out way, instead of being over-dramatic. It all ties together to create a solid picture about romance and immigration.

Saoirse Ronan is fantastic in the film as Eilis, fully displaying both the character’s homesickness and excitement. Most importantly, though, Ronan shows her character’s growth. As the movie goes on, Ronan’s character comes to terms with many things in her life, and it’s all beautifully put on screen by Ronan.

Cohen, who plays Eilis’ love interest Tony, deserves a lot of credit for his performance, too. Cohen is truly able to bring to life a young man straight out of the 1950s. His on-screen chemistry with Ronan is also outstanding, making the two lead characters’ romance incredibly believable.

One performance that may go overlooked because it was one of the smaller roles in the film came from Julie Walters, who played the head of the boarding house Mrs.. Kehoe. While she only has a handful of scenes, she steals most of them with her commanding delivery.

Another great feature of “Brooklyn” was how New York City in the 1950s was brought to life. From being on the ships that crossed the ocean, to the view from Ellis Island and even just shots with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, the movie truly brings the setting to life. The same can be said about the costume designs, too.

“Brooklyn” is a magical film experience. The acting is great, the story is compelling and the design work brings it all together. More than that, though, the film’s portrayal of immigration into the United States shows how important the process is in building America. This is a true feel good movie and deserves a 5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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