Big Screen: Brooklyn
It rained in Boston the weekend I watched this movie. Cats and dogs style. And I needed to get out of the house. So... I ventured to the movies solo.
I went to one of my favorite cinemas, Kendall Square Landmark Theater in Cambridge. It's a great little theater that usually has the indie movies I like to see, it has some different snacks, and is independent so I like supporting the local business.
I really enjoyed this movie, granted, I'm of Irish heritage and spent a semester in Ireland in college, and generally like American history (particularly when it overlaps with Irish history) so I'm the prime target for this one.
The movie is about an Irish woman who goes to Brooklyn from Ireland for opportunity and finds it difficult, but thrives until her life in Ireland catches up with her and she has to make a tough decision.
An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
It's a subtle plot about the toughness of immigrants and the pull of home, family, and religion. It's almost a quiet movie, so much of the arc of the plot is done through the main character's inner thoughts, but you could see the wheels turning and it was beautiful to watch. The movie really focuses on the characters, and the acting really is the strength of the film.
The acting was just superb. I thought Saoirse (Ser-Sha) Ronan was fabulous as Eilis (Ae-Lish). I loved her guilt, excitement, homesickness, and struggling with which path she should take in her new life. Julie Walters as the boarding house mother was a breath of fun and delight in Brooklyn when Eilis is so homesick it's almost unbearable. I also loved her housemates who gave us a sense of family, camraderie, and were good foils to Eilis. Her boss (Jessica Paré) was so stylish but so real and relatable, she turned a tiny role into something special. As did Jim Broadbent as Eilis' prieft. Her Brooklyn love-interest's family is wonderfully zany and warm.
The Irish cast was equally wonderful--Her sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) is her touchstone in Ireland and, while I'm somewhat confused about what happened to her in the movie, (I won't spoil it, but her resolution took me off-guard and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it) I found it so interesting to compare the lives of the sister who stayed at home and the sister who made a break for a better life in America. Eilis' love interest, played by Domhnall Gleeson who is EVERYWHERE these days, and awesome, made Eilis' decision even more difficult and so easy to empathize with.
If you like subtle, historical, love stories, I recommend this highly. See the trailer below!