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.
A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In late 1951, Eilis Lacey, a young Irish girl, emigrates to Brooklyn. Sponsored by Father Flood, a priest from her native town Enniscorthy, she is assured to find a full-time job there. But the early days are tough, seasickness being soon replaced by loneliness and homesickness, two feelings all the more acutely felt by Eilis for having had to leave behind her widowed mother and her dear sister Rose. She nevertheless little by little manages to find her footing by adapting to her job as a salesgirl, by studying bookkeeping at Brooklyn College as well as with a little help from both Father Flood and Mrs. Kehoe, the owner of the boarding school she now lives in. And not only does graduation follow but love shows its face in Tony, an Italian-American plumber, full of adoration and respect for her. They end up marrying, although keeping the thing secret. It is at that point that tragedy strikes inciting Eilis to return to Enniscorthy to support her mother morally. And there a strange ... Written by
I was lucky enough to get tickets to a preview of Brooklyn last week, and in a rare change from the normal routine, I went into a film knowing absolutely nothing about it.
It was such a full house, that I ended up staring up at the screen from well outside my usual comfort zone at an awkward angle, too close to the screen, and away from my girlfriend which wasn't a great start, but once the film started I was quickly caught up in the magnificence of Saoirse Ronan's performance and forgot about any of those minor gripes.
Ronan owned this film, from first to last. The storyline itself is a somewhat thin and a follows a well-trodden path but Ronan gives it such heft, and brings the intensity of her character's experience and development full force such that any deficiencies of the story seem inconsequential. It was only after leaving the screening that I really looked back at some of the plot points and realised how contrived it had been in places, but for the time I was watching it, I was simply living it through the potency of the acting. Ronan was brilliant in this, and I struggle to think of any recent performances that can match this for the confidence and sure-footedness that she showed. I think she's in with a good shout for an award or two for this role.
It's worth mentioning Julie Waters as well, who reliably entertains and impresses in all she does. Between her and Saoirse Ronan, they made sure that Brooklyn passed the 6 laugh test and also the 6 cry test. I laughed, and cried, and laughed as I was crying, and cried as I was laughing pretty much throughout the whole film. A thoroughly enjoyable film, where the central performance takes the audience on an engrossing and emotional trip through an otherwise somewhat slight storyline.
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