A young Irish immigrant adjusts to like in America in Brooklyn. Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) is a young woman from a small Irish town, who is arranged by her older sister to go to the US for a better future, with priest and sponsor Father Flood (Jim Broadbent) arranging for Eilis’ accommodation and employment. Eilis is initially incredibly homesick, but overcomes it when she falls for Italian man Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen). When a family tragedy results in Eilis having to travel back to Ireland, she is presented with an alternate future, including local suitor Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson).
Brooklyn is a film dealing with the challenges faced by a new immigrant. The sole reason for Eilis travelling to American is that there didn’t seem to be a future for her back home. Eilis lives in a boarding house and has many dinner conversations with the fellow boarders and her landlady Mrs. Keogh (Julie Walters), as she slowly adjusts to life in Brooklyn. Eilis’ recovery from her homesickness is thanks to no small part for her finding romance in the from Tony Fiorello. However, when Eilis travels back to Ireland, she finds that new opportunities have opened up for her. As such, she is left with the difficult decision regarding what life is the best for her.
Brooklyn is an absolutely charming film, which marks a turning point in the career of actress Saoirse Ronan. Ronan first came it prominence when, at the age of only 13 years old, she received an Oscar nomination for her role in the 2007 film Atonement. Nearly a decade late, Ronan has come full circle and has finally fully emerged as an adult actress. Of course, it’s Ronan’s career has been less than interesting, with her having notable roles in films such as Hanna, Byzantium, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. However, Brooklyn demonstrates that Saoirse Ronan is able to handle more mature adult role and it will be really exciting to see how her career progresses from here.
As a film about immigration, Brooklyn is quite wonderful. However, one aspect of the film that doesn’t quite work is a love triangle, which is almost shoehorned into the plot. When Eilis is forced to return to Ireland, she is forced to leave her love Tony back in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, she meet Jim, who quickly emerges as a new romantic interest. While the film is trying to tackle issue about what exactly home is, it does seem that the addition of Jim to the film serves little purpose than to add some conflict to the third act of the film, with the viewer being left to ask the question about whether Eilis is going to stay in Ireland or head back to Brooklyn.
Despite the shoehorned romantic triangle, Brooklyn is still a charming film about the challenges faced by a new immigrant.