An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Ireland, early 1950s. Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is a young woman working in a grocery shop. She has greater ambitions and moves to Brooklyn, New York, leaving her mother and sister, Rose (Fiona Glascott), behind. She is terribly homesick but eventually settles down, finding a job, studying to be a bookkeeper and meeting a nice young Italian man, Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen). Things are going well, but then she learns that Rose has died, and decides to return to Ireland, temporarily. She and Tony hastily get married, and then she sets off back to Ireland, alone. Life is about to get complicated.Written by
Looming skyscrapers in a distant land, the kindness of strangers, love and hope for a better life; such things open the eyes of Eilis, a smart and insular immigrant to 1950s Brooklyn, to opportunities she did not have in the Irish countryside. While at first lonely and homesick in this new cityscape, Eilis is soon enthralled with the bright possibilities, encouraged by all she is learning and charmed by the people she meets. She breaks free from her shell and shines in this radiant, unfamiliar realm. Returning to Ireland for what she hopes is a brief stay, Eilis both sees through and is seen in a luminous and different light. Both worlds, New York and her Irish home, now pull the new and improved Eilis in different directions.
Saoirse Ronan is spectacular in her performance as Eilis. She really makes this Sundance hit come alive. It is comforting, as always, to see a film that does not depend on explosions, computer graphics and alien contagions to entertain. There is a deeper pleasure here, one that pulls at mind, spirit, body and heart together. Visuals, story, organization, acting, intriguing characters and more, all come together well.
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