DVD Review: Brooklyn

The sweetest, most romantic movie in recent memory is also among the most straightforward: Love, absence, heartache, return.

“Brooklyn” is less a motion picture than a motion painting. Scene after color-saturated scene is beautiful. The close-ups of the heroine’s lovely, unadorned, Irish face gladden the heart. The music makes the heart gladder still.

This is the story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish lass in the year 1950 who has no opportunities in her little village. She accepts the sponsorship of a visiting priest from America who can place her in a job and in a room in the NYC borough that gives the picture its name.

She’s a good girl, braver than she lets on and smart, though shy and lonely. At a social club gathering, a young Italian boy, Tony (Emory Cohen), charms her (and the rest of us) and brings her home to meet his whole rambunctious clan.

The joyful teasing of the brothers comes in distinct, but pleasant, contrast to Eilis’s serene calm. But still waters run deep in the alert, determined girl. Before she meets the parents she has her rooming housemates teach her how to eat spaghetti. When she smuggles Tony into her bedroom, you could not be happier for the lucky couple.

And then … tragedy. Her loving sister dies and Eilis is called back to the old country to help her sorrowing Mam. And along with the grieving comes a long-suppressed homesickness. Slipstreaming behind all that is a fellow, Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson). And he’s just as nice, just as decent as Tony. Oh my.

In the low-key development of the unassuming story, Eilis has become a force — a reluctant risk-taker whose obligations include her mother, Tony, Jim and her own remarkable self.

It’s a date movie. Also a no-date movie. See it if you have time. If you don’t have time, see it anyway.


Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay

Managing Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Fay, managing editor of The Ellsworth American since 1996, is a third-generation Californian. Starting out as a news reporter in 1974, he has been an editor since 1976, working in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont before settling in Ellsworth with his wife and two daughters. [email protected]

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