A new movie review from The Movie Snob.
Brooklyn (B). This new movie has generated tons of critical acclaim and lots of Oscar buzz for its star Saoirse Ronan (City of Ember), who also happens to be one of my favorite young actresses. But as my grade indicates, I liked it; I didn’t love it. It’s a straightforward and rather old-fashioned coming-of-age/romance tale. Around 1950, a young Irish woman named Eilis (Ronan) is leaving her little seaside town in Ireland, where her prospects are poor, for New York City. Her beloved older sister Rose has helped pay for Eilis’s passage, and Rose will stay behind and care for their widowed mother (who doesn’t seem like great company, so Rose is quite the martyr). A kindly priest (Jim Broadbent, Another Year) has arranged for a job and a boarding house to be waiting for Eilis on her arrival. She’s badly homesick for a while, but Eilis is a plucky gal, and the attentions of a nice young man named Tony ease the pain. Life throws some curveballs at Eilis, and the rest of the movie is seeing how she deals with them. This is Ronan’s picture, and I thought she gave a good performance. And yet, somehow I was never quite swept away–never quite forgot I was watching a movie. I think maybe the character is part of the problem. Eilis is smart and seems to be basically nice, but she is pretty quiet, takes her time to make her mind up about things, and definitely doesn’t wear her emotions on her sleeve. So she’s kind of hard to relate to or root for. We’ll see what the Academy’s voters think soon enough….