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
Saoirse Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York, but raised in Ireland by Irish parents. She considers this movie to be one of her most personal movies and it marks the first time she played an Irish character in a movie. (In The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) she spoke with an Irish accent, but played a citizen of a generic fictitious European country.) In an interview with David Poland, she expressed her concern with taking the role: "I felt like I can't mess this up, because all of Ireland will be watching. I felt a huge responsibility to the country to really capture what the story was." However, she said the warm reception at the Sundance Film Festival made her realize the universal essence of this movie. See more »
The American flag is seen flying on Brooklyn Bridge. However, it was not flown there until the 1990s. See more »
Miss Kelly, might I talk to you later?
Not if what you're going to say will cause trouble for me in some way or another.
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Sweet little love story of an Irish lass who comes to America circa 1950. She leaves her home in Enniscorthy (Co. Wexford) and comes to seek fame and fortune - and maybe a 'fella' - in Brooklyn. Subsequent events draw her back to Enniscorthy, and then back to Brooklyn. In between we come to know Eilis (pronounced Ailish) Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) quite well because it is her picture, and she is in nearly every scene. She changes from a homesick immigrant to a self-assured woman in the course of the picture, and Ronan's characterization is terrific.
Along the way she meets Tony Fiorello, played by Emory Cohen in a role apparently underplayed so as not to upstage the main character. He comes from a big Italian family but is not a stereotypical Italian; he is barely audible and very subdued. Perhaps the best and most humorous scenes take place at dinnertime in Mrs. Kehoe's boarding house for Irish immigrant girls. Played by Julie Walters, she rides herd on her catty boarders and uses religious metaphors to put them in their place.
"Brooklyn" is a movie for grown-ups, an independent film in a sea of Hollywood schlock. It is a likable movie with a lot of heart and solid acting down to the smallest role. It is not a sprawling saga but a nice little movie, and I have only sketched a few instances. Many reviewers summarize the whole picture, but the overall tenor of the picture gives the moviegoer a rooting interest and a sense of the resiliency of the human spirit, as well as an illustration of the innate decency and goodness of Eilis Lacey.
P.S. Those hoping to see scenes of Brooklyn neighborhoods will be disappointed; the picture was filmed in Canada and Ireland.
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