Brooklyn – a second opinion

Movie Man Mike finally reports in.

Brooklyn.   A.  There is a good reason this film got an Oscar® nomination for Best Picture.  It’s terrific.  Everything about it is terrific.  The screenplay is well-written.  The characters and their interactions are so very charming.  From the little old lady who runs the boarding house where Eilis lives in Brooklyn to her rigid supervisor at the store where Eilis works, these characters are engaging and believable.  What’s more, with the exception of Jim Broadbent and Domhnall Gleeson (both appearing in the Harry Potter films), the cast consists of relatively unknown actors.  Yet each and every one nails their performance.  Set in the 1950’s, the story is about a young woman named Eilis (Saiorse Ronan, City of Ember) living with her sister and mother in Ireland.  The job market in Ireland is not good but America is the land of opportunity, so the family arranges through their church to send Eilis to America.  The story follows Eilis on her journey to America and we get a glimpse of what life was like in the 1950’s for the single working woman.  Eilis is homesick until she meets Tony (Emory Cohen, The Place Beyond the Pines), an Italian boy with an eye for Irish girls.  As the story moves forward, Eilis finds herself in conflict over her love for Ireland and the place she makes for herself in Brooklyn with Tony.  This is truly a beautiful story filled with rich characters.  Sairose Ronan received a well-deserved Oscar© nomination for her role in this film.

Brooklyn

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….