Brooklyn, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), is the story about an immigrant’s opportunity to leave home and start a new life in the United States.
Yes, that description was incredibly broad, but we should not care about who she is (Eilis), where she came from (Ireland) or where she went (New York). Brooklyn is a story that can be adapted for immigrants that came to America for a better opportunity over the past 200 years.
Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of homesickness is enough to make the movie emotional and relatable. Tony (Emory Cohen) sums up the meaning of the movie with just one short line: “Home is home.” This feeling might resonate soundly with many Northwestern students, who leave home in search of an opportunity to start our own lives. But how can we bear to grow up without our family?
Brooklyn allows you to smile with Eilis, laugh with her, cry with her, become trapped with her and live life with her. Ronan’s acting helps move the movie along, contributing to her well-deserved Oscar nomination. Furthermore, Ronan and Cohen’s onscreen interactions were sincere and realistic, evoking sensations of chivalry and playful, young love.
After I step out of the theatre and have time to reflect on the movie, I tend to become more critical. It leaves a certain taste in your mouth, specifically the memorable parts that play central roles in the plot. One might say that director John Crowley glossed over many of the realistic hardships that immigrants experience. A job, an education, a home and a lover all essentially came in a package deal for Eilis without much work, while the trials of most other immigrants are much more testing.
The movie’s ending also leaves much to be desired. After the director works hard to communicate the pain that Eilis feels, the movie ends with a hole in your heart. Eilis has to choose between her family in Ireland and her new life in Brooklyn. It feels as though the writers intended for a happily-ever-after ending, but we’re left to wonder what happens to everyone she chooses to leave behind. Life goes on, yes, but the audience is left wondering, is that it?!
Overall, I recommend this movie for anyone who wants to enjoy an impassioned work of art. You will enjoy the emotional rollercoaster that Saoirse Ronan’s character brings you on.
If you know what it’s like to leave home, to leave a family behind, this movie is for you.
Saoirse Ronan (Melanie from The Host, Hanna, Briony from Atonement)
Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn from Harry Potter, Cloud Atlas)
Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley from Harry Potter, General Hux from Star Wars VII, Caleb from Ex Machina)
Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter, The Witch (voice) in Brave)
Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak from Arrow)
photo source: chicagonow