Brooklyn is a lovely feel good movie that will warm your heart. Nick Hornby adapted Colm Tóibín's novel of an Irish immigrant who leaves her home land, makes a life for herself and finds love in New York.
The talented Saoirse Ronan is really the heart and soul of this story. The 21-year old Irish actress has been one of the busiest young film stars ever since she was nominated for an Oscar at age 13 for Atonement, and hasn’t stopped impressing us since. She’s given us a range of wonderful performances from The Lovely Bones, Hanna, to The Grand Budapest Hotel and along the way has handled herself with dignity and grace, not for one minute falling into the young actor’s Hollywood trap.
Not only does she turn in a mature and sometimes gut wrenching performance, but shows us that she has truly grown up. “I feel incredibly lucky, I think, for something like this to come along at just the right time when it comes to work and what kind of work you want to do next and how you want to move on to the next stage of your working life,” Ronan recently told me during our interview about Brooklyn at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In Brooklyn, Ronan plays Eilis Lacey, a girl living in the small country town of Enniscorthy, Ireland in 1952. Fearful that Enniscorthy is threatening to stifle Eilis’s potential, her sister arranges for her to move to America, where she will have a job at a department store and a room at a Brooklyn boardinghouse.
When Eilis arrives in America she feels lost and is beyond homesick. It takes a while for her to find her way which she eventually does gracefully. She enrolls in bookkeeping classes, falls in love, and thrives in her new home. However a personal tragedy in Ireland brings Eilis back immediately and quickly makes her question if she should stay put or return to her new land.
As Eilis comes of age, she’s faced with a choice: should she return to Brooklyn or stay in Ireland? Where is home and where will she ultimately find happiness?
The film also stars Emory Cohen as Tony, the Brooklynite who captures her heart, and Domnhall Gleeson as Jim, the man who tempts her to stay in Ireland.
I spoke with Saoirse Ronan, Domnhall Gleeson and Emory Cohen about working on this film, what home means to them and the importance of being out on your own.
Please click the link below to watch the interviews
BROOKLYN opens November 20 in Toronto and Vancouver
The film opens December 11 in Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria, December 18 in Montreal, with other dates to follow.