Directed by John Crawley
Written by Nick Hornby
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, and Jessica Paré
“Brooklyn” a humorous and heartfelt period drama, and you can tell it is a period piece because an immigrant department store clerk can afford rent in Brooklyn and the Dodgers have not yet made the move to Los Angeles. If the film’s goal was to create an air of nostalgia, whether it be for the days of yore, or for places long left behind, it succeeds in creating such an atmosphere. The movie focuses heavily on the latter form of nostalgia, rather than the former. Considering that “Brooklyn” is the story of a young Irish girl coming to make her way in America the nostalgic atmosphere was something that served to highlight the film’s themes.
Thematically “Brooklyn” explores the idea of where one’s home truly lies, or more simply put in the words of the age old cliché, home is where the heart is. Clichés are Clichés for a reason. While John Crawley is fairly obvious with this message, you do not realize that the message is that apparent until the movie has ended. Throughout the film, Crawley implies that the idea of home is the theme he is exploring, but focuses on the relationship between the two main characters instead of hitting you over the head with the home. When the movie ends, you realize how obvious the home theme was throughout the film. It is a credit to Crawley’s direction that he was able to make his central theme simultaneously subtle and obvious. Usually, the director excels at subtlety, or the idea is blatantly obvious that it makes your eyes roll.
Saoirse Ronan gives an excellent performance. It is one of those once in a career type of performances. Although, because Ronan is such a young actress with a young career, it is too soon to call this her magnum opus performance. Ronan’s performance is one of those performances that grow with the character. Watching Ronan play through her characters arc is nothing short of magic.
Ronan and her male co-star Emory Cohen have what every great love story need, excellent chemistry. Watching the two of them together is one of the most blissful cinematic experiences that you will have all year.
“Brooklyn” is sweet and heartfelt, without being too sentimental. A surprisingly comic movie that never approaches that line where the drama stops being a drama and suddenly transforms into a comedy. “Brooklyn” is a must see because if I were a gambling man I would put my money on Ronan receiving an Academy Award nomination for lead actress.