Brooklyn. A story of Irish immigration. The film opens and we’re introduced to a young woman, Eilis Lacey, who lives in a small town in Ireland. Her older sister has arranged, through the Church, for Eilis to immigrate to America. Thus we meet a remarkable character played by Saoirse Ronan. The story progresses with Eilis leaving her mother and sister and Ireland, and traveling via boat to America. When Lacey goes to the movies she watches Singing in the Rain. The year is 1952.
Ronan’s performance lures us into wondering more and more about Eilis’ fate. Brooklyn is based on a novel by Colm Toibin and the characters are complex and authentic. The films offers a realistic presentation of the difficulties associated with relocating from one country to another, even when there is a common language. Dealing with homesickness and the challenges of building a new life in a foreign environment is presented in this film as Eilis maturing as a person. She meets an Italian plumber, Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen), and the development of this relationship is handled nicely by the film’s director, John Crowley.
The story becomes more complex when Eilis returns to Ireland for a visit. But you will need to see the film. Eilis’ supervisor at work, a minor character played by Jessica Pare, advances both the film and the primary character, and you are pleased when Pare’s character reappears. The dinner scenes at the boardinghouse where Eilis resides add just the right touch of comedy. This film has no special effects, just excellent acting and a story about an individual who touches your heart.