A few weeks ago, a friend texted me and asked if I wanted to go see the new Tina Fey movie with her. I said yes, and she said, “Great! Brooklyn is showing at 3:45 tomorrow.”
Well, if you know anything about the movie Brooklyn, you’ll know that Tina Fey isn’t in it. Also, we didn’t end up seeing any movie that day because something came up. However, as we were making plans, I had looked into Brooklyn, and I really wanted to see it. So, I had a snow day today, but the weather wasn’t bad near my home. (One of the perks of living a bit of a drive from where I work) The roads were clear, so I took myself to the movies.
Now, I had a suspicion that I would like this movie. It looked like a heartwarming story that would have requisite sad bits alongside a quality plot and good acting. It didn’t look groundbreaking or life-changing. But it looked like a good, positive movie.
What I got was a genuinely heartwarming story with excellent acting. The story, which is an adaptation of a book I’ve not yet read, was beautiful. I did cry a bit here and there. I laughed. I really laughed at this adorable little eight-year-old Italian-American boy; he was hilarious. Mostly, I was just enchanted. I fell in love with the characters. I wanted them to be happy and have genuinely good lives.
The movie tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who moves to America in 1951 to make a better life for herself. She is smart, and that’s one of her greatest strengths. Homesickness is her greatest foe. The story is primarily a story of her transition to adulthood and her gradual adjustment from life in a small town in Ireland to life in a large city in America.
The writing is good. The story is compelling and believable. The characters feel real. Their goals and motivations make sense both in the real world and the world of the film. Eilis does a thing or two that I don’t necessarily like, but I’m not sure that I would have behaved differently in her shoes. The soundtrack is gorgeous; it supported the movie well and helped convey the emotions that the director wanted the viewer to feel.
The acting was wonderful. Saoirse Ronan moves beautifully from a slightly fearful immigrant to a strong woman who can think and act for herself. Emory Cohen, despite not actually being Italian-American, plays Eilis’s Italian-American love interest. He nicely portrays a sweet, honest, and enthusiastic young man who wants to make the most out of his life. Domhnall Gleeson is delightful as a young man Eilis comes to know upon her return to Ireland. He’s more reserved than Cohen’s Tony, but there is a quiet strength to him that I found utterly endearing. The supporting cast is also brilliant. I really enjoyed Jim Broadbent as the priest who sponsored Eilis’s immigration and Julie Walters as her landlady in Brooklyn. (It was also fun to see three Harry Potter veterans in the same film even if Gleeson, Walters, and Broadbent were never onscreen together.) Eilis’s housemates in Mrs. Keogh’s boardinghouse were believable and enjoyable.
Overall, I really liked this movie, and I’d encourage anyone who likes enjoyable things to see it.
My rating is an A-. Yes, I had one or two unanswered questions at the end of the film, but overall, I enjoyed it.
I never did see that Tina Fey movie. Maybe I should see it someday?
I have a soft spot for Domhnall Gleeson because we both have names that coffeeshop baristas seem to be incapable of spelling. Someday, I want to hang out with him and compare misspellings of our names. (Also, I don’t think that he’s ugly.)