The new film Brooklyn is an immigrant tale written by Nick Hornby. 1950s small town Ireland does not offer a lot of room for growth. It’s a land of predictability – you live, marry, and die. But more is meant for Eilis Lacey. Her sister Rose arranges via the priest for Eilis to travel to Brooklyn, live in a respectable boarding house, and work at a department store. Rose will stay in Ireland, continue working as a bookkeeper, and care for their mother. So Eilis ventures into an unknown world. After a bout of homesickness, she soon meets a young man. It’s shocking but he’s Italian. But it’s not Ireland. It’s America, and it’s okay. Eilis grows into her job – learning to laugh and interact with customers. The local priest (Jim Broadbent) sponsors her night school so she can achieve her dream to someday become an accountant. She’s blossoming before our eyes into an independent young woman – an American.
Circumstance bring her back to Ireland and she has to face her past to decide on her future. The auld sod is in her heart, but she’s torn. She has a new life in Brooklyn. This tender movie is sweet, poignant, and well-acted. Saoirse Ronan’s clear blue eyes captivate the screen. She’s excellent and you root for her. Jim Broadbent is perfect as the local priest looking out for her. Julie Walters is a welcome presence as the boarding house marm. Emory Cohen, Tony the Italian suitor, is a charmer. And Domhnall Gleeson is the Irish lad in the old home town.
Brooklyn presents choices, growth, humor, love, and tells a tale about home and what the word embodies. It’s rich and presents the energy of America. It’s a good movie to see in this holiday season and to give thanks.