Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Wednesday 6 July 2022

Film Review: Brooklyn


Share This Article:


Set in the early 1950s, Brooklyn centres on Eilis Lacey, played by Saoirse Ronan, a young Irish girl from Enniscorthy who leaves her mother and sister behind as she travels to Brooklyn to start anew. Nick Hornby adapts from Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name, with John Crowley at the helm.

Over the years we’ve come to expect greatness from Saoirse Ronan. Since her breakout role in Atonement (2007), for which she received high critical acclaim and was among the youngest to ever be nominated for an Academy Award, her career has slowly blossomed into what appears will be a promisingly lengthy one.

She does not disappoint here, showing maturity beyond her years and proving that she is expertly capable of being the lead of a film. There is less to say about Eilis, a character so passive it is hard to not feel like she needs a good shake, and to hope Ronan moves onto heftier scripts. Nick Hornby is without a doubt a gifted screenwriter having penned both adaptations of his own work as well as others’ for the screen. Brooklyn however is no An Education, and there is something to be desired about the narrative.

Where the film lacks is not so much in emotion but in fact action; its linearity is plain and uneventful. If you’re unfamiliar with the source material do not expect a tough tale of emigration. As director John Crowley mentioned in an interview with us, Eilis isn’t beaten or trafficked. What the film delves into instead is the nostalgia and homesickness felt when leaving home; there is no large suffering beyond this and one can’t help but ponder about the film that could have been.

What we have is a solid, well directed and superbly acted film that nonetheless doesn’t quite make an impressionable mark. The film delivers in mostly two areas: a powerful portrayal of universally recognisable feeling of loneliness when away from home, and an incredible supporting cast. In fact this cast is a tour de force; you know a cast is good when every character that comes on screen, no matter how small the role, makes you care. The women are sensational, Julie Walters as Mrs Kehoe, Eilis’ tough as nails landlady and a wonderfully warm presence as only Walters can be; Jessica Pare as Eilis’ manager in the store she starts working for, and Eva Birthistle as a fellow passenger on the way to New York who commands every second of screen time.

The arguable star of Brooklyn however is Emory Cohen, who some will know from The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) or the short-lived TV show Smash. Here Cohen is given ample chance to take up leading man status in a phenomenal breakout role as Tony, the young sweet hearted Italian plumber who wishes to give Eilis a home away from home.

Brooklyn is a well-crafted dart of a film that slightly misses the bullseye.


Brooklyn is released nationwide on November 6th.

Articles: 29
Reads: 178416
© 2022 is a website of Studee Limited | 15 The Woolmarket, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2PR, UK | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974