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Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is a young immigrant girl from Ireland who comes to “Brooklyn” to make a better life for herself and hopefully for her mother ( Jane Brnnan) and older sister (Fiona Glascott) back home. She is sponsored by her church who arranges the boat fare, a rooming house to stay and a job as a salesclerk in a department store.
It is a simple story about a young girl coming to a new country, adjusting to a new life, falling in love with an Italian boy (Emory Cohen) who goes to Irish community dances because he likes Irish girls. When she is called back to Ireland due to a death she is pursued by ‘the most eligible man in town’ (Domhnall Gleeson) and eventually she has to decide between the two men and the country she is froma nd the country she has adopted as home.
Along the way we meet the landlady (Julie Walters) of the boarding house, the other girl borders who try to teach her the ways of her new life and the priest (Jim Broadbent) who consoles her when she becomes homesick. We meet Tony’s parents and family when he invites her to dinner--and she is taught by the ladies at the boarding house how to twirl spaghetti--where Tony’s baby brother (James DiGiacomo) steals the scenes he is in. We meet her sophisticated supervisor (Jessica Pare) at work who follows Lacey’s arc from being a shy girl, almost afraid of her shadow, or at least the shadow Brooklyn casts over a new comer, to a confident young lady who takes night school courses to become an accountant.
“Brooklyn” is a sweet love story between people and countries, that takes its time and has only one contrived spot that doesn’t ring true. The comparison of Coney Island with bodies all over the crowded beach to the beach along the Irish countryside which only has 4 people on it is as telling as the opening shot of the Irish girl to the lady we see at the end advising a Irish country girl immigrating to Brooklyn.
Saoirse Ronan, an American born 21 year old woman of Irish parents, goes from drab to beautiful with the ease she becomes the confident woman in “Brooklyn”. As her lover Emory Cohen is a delightful combination of young boy and a man who knows what he wants.
John Crowley directs the film placed in the 1950s and, along with the screenwriter Nick Hornby, based on the book by Colm Toibin, lovingly shows the Ireland Americans dream of and the New York (Brooklyn) that immigrants picture in their heads. The casting in all the roles are perfect and though the love story doesn’t overwhelm you individual scenes do.

“Brooklyn” is one of the few quiet, impressive films of the holiday season.



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