Brooklyn — Peter Fitzgerald Reviews

If a lovely coming of age movie is what you crave this holiday season, nothing beats Brooklyn. Based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, the film follows timid lass Eilin, (played with unflinching honesty by Saoirse Ronan) who voyages out of the confines of her provincial Irish town in 1952 to tackle culture shock and homesickness in where else, Brooklyn, only to find romance with Italian-American Tony (heartthrob, Emory Cohen.) When tragedy strikes in Ireland, she returns a changed woman with choices to make about her future and I refuse to be a spoiler about the rest.

It is a small film, but not in depth or emotional weight, and La Saoirse is more than up to the task of carrying this film to its complete success. Not in recent memory has an actress embodied this level of unselfconsciousness and charm onscreen. Supporting cast veterans Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Jane Brennan react to Ronan’s Eilin with a sense of discovery, as did the audience to witness the birth of a full fledged star. Here Ronan and the role burst into triumphant fruition as never before, and I imagine that she will be richly rewarded during awards season.

Brooklyn’s lush cinematography by Yves Bélanger is a treat for the eye, but Michael Brook’s score meanders like meditation background music minus the voice of The Dali Shirley MacLaine. (I chuckled reading a recent article hailing the score as “understated.”)

Director Michael Crowley should be commended for his efforts, which appear to be nearly invisible. But, in this case I consider that a compliment as it provided the vehicle that ushered in the era of movie star Saoirse Ronan. Long may she reign.