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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz


Warm And Lovely

Critically acclaimed as one of the best films of 2015 and considered by many to be one of Saoirse Ronan’s best works, Brooklyn is a warm and moving story about transition, home, love and finding where you belong.

Young Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) navigates her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, she departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness soon evaporate as a blossoming romance forms between herself and Tony (Emory Cohen), a young Italian-American she meets at an Irish dance. Eilis’s past soon disrupts her new vivacity and she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

Saoirse Ronan has always been proud of being Irish and she proudly leads Brooklyn with her wit, talent, and grace. Eilis is in every way, a fish out of water. She’s not a young woman who feels suffocated by her roots and longs for comfort. She’s quite shy but very comfortable in her home and has always found warmth and comfort in her mother, Mary (Jane Brennan) and her sister Rose (Fiona Glascott). Eilis was unable to find full-time employment in Ireland and Rose arranged for her to travel to America with more opportunities.

Eilis is very gracious for the opportunity but has deep trouble hiding her homesickness. Eilis’s tearful longings for her far away comfort is very raw but not heartbreaking because you can just tell someone as good as she is going to be ok. She’s never been in love before and in Tony, she finds someone she doesn’t have to hide her Xenization from.

Emory Cohen’s portrayal of Tony is of someone fun, kind and honest. He instantly falls for Eilis and gives her the gentle encouragement she needs to break out of her shell. There’s so much for her to see and do in her new world and he graciously shows her all it is for her to take advantage of. Eilis continues to settle in overtime and as she does, Tony grows more proud of her. Tony is very proud of being an Italian and he admires Eilis for being proud of who she is too. He knows they have much in common and it eases him to know this brings her comfort.

Julie Walters is Brooklyn’s comic relief and a very great one at that. She portrays Mrs. Kehoe, the landlady of the boarding house Eilis takes residence in. She’s feisty, sassy and adorable. The other girls who live in the boarding house are very immature and Mrs. Kehoe has no shame in her outspoken favoritism of Eilis. She sees how nervous Eilis is when she first arrives and like Tony, takes great pleasure in watching her grow more confident. She sees Eilis start to see Brooklyn as home and she admires the level of graciousness Eilis has for her new life.

Michael Brook’s score gives Brooklyn it’s drumroll of a classical overseas fairytale. The music is like an unseen friend to Eilis. It’s always there for all her important moments. Yves Belanger’s Cinematography is literally a world tour of all of Eilis’s surroundings. The magic of Brooklyn’s streets at night, the boarding house, City Hall and the ocean liners were all taken by the camera lens and set free like a butterfly. There comes a point where Eilis returns home to visit Ireland and the cinematic shots of the small town, Greenlands and beaches make the mouths of those wishing to visit Ireland drool.

Overall, Brooklyn is a lovely film that delves into the importance of culture and how much we can learn from the beauty of travel. Brooklyn is an important film about blossoming into your own person, taking ownership of who you are and above all, home. Home is an identity for many people but over time, almost anywhere can become yours.

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