Having never read Colm Tólbín’s novel “Brooklyn”, I had little knowledge of what to expect from the film version going in. Sure I saw the trailer and read the synopsis, but a movie with that title could be about so many things. Not knowing the book, the film peaked my interest when I saw that author/screenwriter Nick Hornby (An Education) was adapting it for the screen, I knew I had to see this.
Ellis (Saoirse Ronan) lives in Ireland with her sister and mother in the 1950’s. Her life is not really going anywhere there, so her older sister arranges for her to go to America. Ellis is excited to go, but at the same time apprehensive to leave her family behind and her home. Once she arrives, she goes to Brooklyn, where Father Flood (Jim Broadbent) has arranged for her a place to stay as well as work. Things are not a bed of roses at first as Ellis is more then a little home sick. That changes one day at a dance when she meets Tony (Emory Chhen) an Italian boy, who likes Irish girls. They hit is off and soon Brooklyn starts to feel like home for Ellis. Just when things are going well, word comes from home of a tragedy and Ellis must return home. Once she is there, Ellis finds things that pull her back home, a job and a man named Jim (Domhnall Gleeson) who is interested to her. With all of that, Ellis must soon make a decision about where home truly is.
There is something about telling a story about home that makes you want to go there. Add a beautiful landscape, superb acting, and a situation many can relate to, and well you got yourself a good movie. Ronan and Cohen are both a joy to watch as two people who fall in love in a simpler time. While the performances make the movie, including great supporting help by Gleeson and Broadbent, the narrative itsself if the star. Hornby adapts the film from its source material that is a beauty to watch. I enjoyed almost every aspect of this film; it made you feel, while making you laugh as well. This is the kind of movie you will only see come out around this time of the year. A film that you will enjoy and hear talked about as award season is in full gear. “Brooklyn” will deserve all the praise it is given and will remind you that home is always where the heart is.