Brooklyn is a chick-flick with credentials. That is to say: a well-acted, beautifully staged period melodrama. The film chronicles the challenges faced by a young woman, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), as she journeys from Ireland to the States in search of opportunity. Unquestionably small in scope, Brooklyn shines as it draws from the poignant well of identity and belonging.
Ronan is no longer one to watch; she’s someone whose talent has blossomed. This is a terrific role and she immerses herself completely; I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes a run for J-Law’s crown as the reigning princess of Hollywood. Ronan is ably supported by on screen love interests, Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson (his 2015 résumé is astonishing!). There’s impressive attention to detail bringing 1950s Brooklyn to life; the cultural landscape is somewhat jarring (familiar yet far removed from the 21st century). The uncanniness quickly dissolves thanks to picture-perfect production design and John Crowley’s smart direction.
There is something universally unsettling about leaving one’s home to live abroad. Brooklyn capt
ures this quandary in exquisite veracity. While the final third of the film is a bit too ‘soapy’ for my tastes, Brooklyn is nevertheless a worthy nominee for Best Picture.