A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: John Crowley
Produced By: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
Written By: Nick Hornby
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domnhall Gleeson
Running Time: 112 Minutes
A classically inspired film in numerous ways, Brooklyn, behind it’s sensationally allocated cast (particularly it’s leading lady), is one of the most heartfelt, powerful pictures to emerge from 2015 that focuses on identity and the notion of belonging to something, someone, somewhere.
Set against the backdrop of 1950’s immigration of Irish citizens to the land of the free, John Crowley’s Brooklyn is a tale of two cities with a girl caught between traditionalist practices and the search for a better life.
Ultimately becoming rather predictable as it unfolds, Brooklyn is to be praised for it’s casting and the performances that surface in what is ultimately a very touching but formulaic narrative.
Tales about breaking away from a life that is seemingly pinning one down are always inspiring when done well. With Brooklyn, the desire to travel abroad in the search for opportunity and greater happiness seems like a necessity for Irish protagonist Eilis (Saoirse Ronan). Infatuated and mystified by the idea of this magical wonderland known as America, her journey is one of discovery in more ways than one.
In what becomes a classic love story, the film is written very well in conveying the struggle of settling in and feeling like an outsider.
Crossing the pond and becoming a fish out of water does have its silver linings it would seem. After a foreign relationship develops, conflicting interests are thrown into the mix as Eilis’ past seeps back in to her present, making for some dramatic moments that test where her loyalties truly lie.
Ronan gives one of the best performances of the year in a role that is far more challenging than it would appear on paper.
In his fourth film of the year, Dommhall Gleeson performs very well, however his role, although crucial and pivotal to the plot, feels shoehorned in and unfulfilled.
Serving as a turning point for the story, Gleeson’s role needed more substantiality, offering more tension to the midpoint and concluding act.
There are films that define what it means to belong to a nation, a community, a family. Films that are homegrown and encapsulate every facet of life within something familiar and close to one’s heart make for potent, emotional experiences for an audience.
Brooklyn seems to capture the Irish spirit and exactly what it means to be Irish in a delightful way.
The setting and circumstances the characters find themselves in is somewhat universal, however there is a consistent atmosphere throughout the picture that somehow feels quintessential of a particular nation. It encapsulates the meaning of home in a beautifully honest manner.
A softer, smaller film to emerge amid the Oscar season, Brooklyn is for the fans of love stories, inspiring journeys, heartfelt fulfilment and other fairytale-inspired qualities.