Young Eilis Lacey has no future in her small town in Ireland, thus her older sister pays for Eilis' passage to America where a job is waiting for her. After the initial homesickness every time she receives a letter from her sister, Eilis settles into her new life in Brooklyn, taking classes at night to become a book keeper and finding true love in the arms of an Italian young man. Little does Eilis know that the past is about to rear its head; and when things seem to be taking a lucky turn in her hometown, she will be forced to decide the future she wants and the man she wants to share it with.
Brooklyn can boast of being a classy love story with great direction, and a solid yet meaty screenplay that allowed the ensemble cast in general, and the three leading actors in particular, to make the most of it. I would have felt more comfortable had the movie been slightly shorter; I didn't find much sense in scenes at the dinner table when Eilis was living at the boarding house.
Saoirse Ronan, who got a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as a child for Atonement, is the leading lady in Brooklyn, for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Gone are the days of mixed experiments like the teenage assassin Hanna or the young vampire in Byzantium, this leading lady is all grown up and hopefully we'll be seeing more of her in the near future.
As Eilis, Ronan nails the confusion and uncertainty of the immigrant experience, and the waves of homesickness. She also ably conveys the bubbling feeling of first love, or at least finding the right man. I didn't feel too invested during the scenes of homesickness, but definitely bought the sweet on-screen chemistry she shared with both young men, Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Ex-Machina) as Jim, and Emory Cohen as Tony.
Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters co-star.