Please be sure to check all cynicism at the door before watching one of the most lovely and poignant films in recent memory. Brooklyn stars a luminous Saoirse Ronan in this nostalgic look at the Irish emigration to the US in the 1950’s. This film’s pedigree couldn’t be more solid, adapted from the beautiful and subtle novel by Colm Tóibín with a screenplay written by Nick Hornby. Subtlety is the keyword here: no one is going to beat you over the head to make a point in this film. It is simply the story of the inner life of a young Irish girl who leaves home to find a new life in Brooklyn.
What is this inner life made of? At first, heartbreak and homesickness and insecurity. The youngest of her large but dwindling Irish family, Eilis is gently pushed from the nest by her beloved elder sister Rose who arranges through a priest in the US to give Eilis the opportunity that she will never have: a job and a bed in Brooklyn. For insecure Eilis, leaving her home is a Herculean endeavor, but she goes because there is no other real choice – the young in 1950’s Ireland are leaving in droves to find jobs. The core of the story is her struggle and transformation and her search to feel at home again.
Anyone who has ever left home to begin a new life, whether for college or a new city or country, will recognize Eilis’ struggle as it plays across Ronan’s incredibly expressive, sensitive face. Once our young heroine has found some confidence and happiness in Brooklyn, there are complications and temptations arising back home in Ireland which threaten to pull her in opposite directions. When does one finally decide where home is? For generations of newcomers to this country, this is the question they carry with them everyday as they go about living their lives in their new country. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
Director: John Crowley
DVD Release Date: 3/15/16