WRITTEN BY: Nick Hornby
DIRECTED BY: John Crowley
STARRING: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson
RATING: 3.5 stars
Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is a young woman living with her widowed mother in Ireland in the 1950s when her older sister arranges for Ellis to travel to the United States to make a better life for herself. When Ellis arrives in Brooklyn, a priest (Jim Broadbent) sets her up in a boarding house run by the stern but kind Mrs Kehoe (Julie Walters). Despite the help, Ellis struggles with homesickness until she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), a young Italian man intent on romancing her. Soon, Ellis starts to build a life with Tony until she is unexpectedly forced back to Ireland where she meets the dashing Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson). Ellis must then choose between two men and two homes.
Based on Colm Toibin's novel, Brooklyn is a sweet immigrant story with relatable cultural shocks and romance. The film lacks a strong climax, although there is some conflict in the third act, but it is actually quite lovely to see a simple story on screen. Director John Crowley has made a visually gorgeous film, including the portrayal of Ireland and Brooklyn, which are so different but equally charming. Ronan is a delight to watch, presenting both the innocence and bravery in Ellis. Cohen also gives an endearing performance, while Gleeson is full of charisma. Meanwhile, Walters provides a lot of laughs, especially in some brilliant dinner conversation scenes. Brooklyn is a cute film with a lot of heart.