Movie Review: Brooklyn (2015)

Posted: May 7, 2016 in Drama, Romance
Tags: ,

BROOKLYN

Ellis Lacey (Soirse Ronan) has come to Brooklyn, New York from Ireland.  She is sponsored by Father Flood, (Jim Broadbent) and quickly finds a job at Bartocci’s department store.  Ellis also finds a place to stay, a boarding house run be Mrs. Kehoe. (Julie Walters) She is also taking night classes and studying to be a bookkeeper, because she doesn’t like the job at Bartocci’s.  At a dance, Ellis meets a young Italian man named Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen) and they quickly fall for each other.  Tony asks Ellis to marry him, but circumstances compel her to go back to Ireland, where she meets Jim Farrell,(Domhall Gleeson) a handsome, charming Irishman, and Ellis is starting to have feelings for Jim.  She also gets a job offer as a bookkeeper in Ireland, and her mother wants her to stay, But she also has a commitment to Tony in Brooklyn.  What does Ellis do?  Stay in Ireland or go back to Brooklyn?

I like Brooklyn, it’s a traditional love story, but it’s more than that, it’s a love letter to the immigrants who built this country, and made it great.  It’s important, especially in these times when of economic and political nationalism, to realize that everyone who lives here now, came from somewhere else. This story tells of the triumphs and difficulties of coming to this country as a new immigrant.  The story becomes less realistic and more contrived when it goes back to Ireland, and Tony’s Italian family seems a bit stereotypical, but the ending is satisfying.

Soirse Ronan is extremely good as Ellis Lacy, the viewer can see her uncertainty as she enters the country, but the viewer can also see her confidence grow as she finds a job, a place to stay, and a boyfriend.  The viewer also feels Ronan’s pain as she is forced to make a very difficult decision. She is building a nice career for herself, with standout performances in Hanna and The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Ronan was actually born in New York City, and then went to live in Ireland, so Brooklyn is her story in reverse. Julie Walters is good as Mrs. Kehoe, and Jim Broadbent is good in a small role. Domhall Gleeson and Emory Cohen are less convincing as the male romantic leads.

The direction is good, the pacing is quick enough, the director gets good performances from Ronan, Walters and Broadbent.

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