ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

Eilis Lacy is an Irish immigrant in the 1950's moving to Brooklyn to seek out a better life than the one she has back in Ireland. She quickly falls in love but when tragedy strikes back home, she must decide between the two countries and her drastically different lives in both.

Saoirse Ronan stars as Eilis and delivers a truly breathtaking performance and is well deserving of a nomination come Oscar time. We meet Eilis after she's decided to make the move over to the U.S and leave her sister and mother behind. Brooklyn is about Eilis' struggle between home and her new life, and when she meets a charming Italian gentleman, the decision becomes even more difficult.

Brooklyn is a genuine treat, it's sweet, emotional, funny at times and heartwarming from beginning to end. I've never been a big fan of Saoirse Ronan but here she won me over, she carries the film completely on her own two shoulders. Domnhall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Julie Walters (Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2) and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince) have small roles in the film and all deliver very good performances as well. Emory Cohen (The Place Beyond The Pines) really shines in his role as Eilis' Italian boyfriend, their chemistry is undeniable and he delivered a really good performance.

What's most endearing about Brooklyn is seeing Eilis mature into a woman, she's quite shy when she first makes the move overseas but through her experiences and the people she meets, she blossoms and it's a wonderful progression. Of course with this being set in the 50's there's some gorgeous costume and production design and it feels tremendously old fashioned whilst still feeling fresh.

For a while the film's arc isn't quite clear, but when Eilis makes her return back to Ireland, the story takes center stage and Eilis has to make a huge decision and I found myself feeling quite anxious about what the character was going to do next which surprised me quite a lot

In society, now more so than ever, immigrants are mostly viewed negatively but Brooklyn reminds us that immigration isn't always a negative thing, it paints America as the land of opportunity that it is and how America benefits from immigration due to many different cultures being there.

There are moments where Brooklyn teeters on becoming a bit too heavy, but director John Crowley finds a good balance between serious drama and light hearted charm and the tone is consistent throughout. There's no antagonist, no real threat in the film which makes for an easy, pleasant viewing experience.

Brooklyn isn't a film to rush out and see but one that I definitely recommend checking out, it's a charming film with a lot of heart and won't leave you disappointed.

Have you seen Brooklyn? If so, let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97


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