Film of the Week: Brooklyn review + official trailer

BROOKLYN (12A, 112 mins) Drama/Romance. Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Emily Bett Rickards, Eve Macklin, Mary O’Driscoll, Nora-Jane Noone, Jim Broadbent, Brid Brennan, Jane Brennan, Fiona Glascott, Jessica Pare. Director: John Crowley.

With plenty of Oscar buzz surrounding it, Brooklyn is one of this year’s must-see movies.

Directed by Intermission’s John Crowley and with a screenplay by High Fidelity author Nick Hornby, the big screen adaptation of Colm Tóibin’s historical novel stars Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson and Emory Cohen.

The 1950s romance is set in Ireland and New York City and sees Ronan’s character, Eilis Lacey, up sticks to Brooklyn after being lured by the promise of America. Having left the familiar comforts of her mother’s home, the small-town Irish girl struggles with homesickness at first but this quickly diminishes when she falls for Tony (Emory Cohen), a young Italian-American plumber.

Soon, however, she is forced to consider a move back to the motherland after receiving some devastating news and a complicated love triangle develops between Eilis (pronounced Aylish), Tony and Jim Farrell (Gleeson), a handsome local from back home.

Eilis must then choose between two countries and two men.

Essentially a good, old-fashioned coming-of-age story about an Irish immigrant finding love in New York, Brooklyn boasts outstanding performances from Ronan and Cohen with a rich period drama that tugs at the heartstrings and sends shivers down the spine.

The film also features memorable cameos from Jim Broadbent as Father Flood, the kind-hearted priest who finds Eilis a place to stay and a job, and Julie Walters as caustic but humorous landlady Mrs Kehoe.

Toibin’s dazzling dialogue trips off the tongue in what is easily Hornby’s strongest work to date as a screenwriter, while Ronan’s remarkable performance as Eilis has, quite rightly, put her among the front-runners for the Best Actress Oscar.