Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brooklyn 2015

Simply irresistible. Who would have thought that this kind of movie would and could be made at this time and place. It stands as a sort of testament that intimate relatively small character driven and emotionally loaded films can still punch us in the gut and reward us emotionally and yes visually and spirituality as well and pull in the crowds both female and male. Maybe its partially because we are so starved for films that have stories to tell and don’t insult us with loud and vulgar comedy and superheroes who crash if not to the ground then certainly at the box office.
This little gem is based on a well received novel by Colm Toibin that I did not read, whose plot is simple and to the point. Young Eilis Lacey gets on a boat in Ireland to come to New York City, specifically Brooklyn of the title in the early 50's to make something of her life with the help of her loving and adoring older sister and a kindly priest in Brooklyn played by the great Jim Broadbent.
She arrives and is soon taking up resistance in Brooklyn at the old world tastefully decorated boarding house owned and run by the magnificent Julie Walters for young Irish women new to America. Walters is proper but with a salty streak and is somewhat ignorant of modern times who is ruled by her love of the Catholic Church and what is right and proper for Irish Lasses, and much of the marvelous humor in film takes place in scenes set at the dinning room table.
Eilis gets a job at an upscale Brooklyn department store (think A&S) but is so homesick and unhappy that it’s starting to affect her job performance and her daily life. One night at a dance held at the church hall that is dull, dim and dreary she meets a young goodlooking Italian plumber played to handsome perfection by a young actor named Emory Cohen who is unsurprisingly smitten with Eilis. The look and feel of the film is perfect in its use of period clothes, hair and details but not overwhelming, which might have had to do more with the budget than with aspiration along with the lack of the 1950’s still standing in New York City.
Most of the joy for me came from the superb performance by the beautiful Saoirse Ronan. Oh Saoirse I would give you a bucket full of Oscars for this performance along with lots of kisses and hugs. There are some minor faults with the film mainly the somewhat rushed and clichéd ending and a few dull and repetitive scenes in Ireland, but hey so what this is still one of the best films of the year and then there’s Saoirse.


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