Brooklyn Review
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During award season, it seems that every movie needs to have some kind of hook to get audiences’ attention—whether it’s an in-your-face kind of a story or a bold, daring performance. But director John Crowley’s period drama Brooklyn will win audiences over with its beauty and simplicity.

Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant who leaves her mother and sister behind and arrives in Brooklyn in the 1950s. Everything has been arranged for her—her lively boarding house, her department store job—but she finds herself missing her home more and more until she meets a sweet Italian boy named Tony (Emory Cohen). Things finally seem to be looking up for Eilis—until tragedy sends her back home to Ireland, and she’s forced to choose between her new life and her old one.

Brooklyn is a truly delightful drama about life, love, and choosing your own path. Not only does it tell a classic coming of age story, but it also offers a different perspective on the life of an immigrant. Eilis doesn’t live in a dingy apartment. She doesn’t struggle to find strenuous work in some dirty factory. Instead, she’s fortunate enough to have a good job and a nice place to live—and she’s surrounded by people who have been on the same journey.

Still, that doesn’t mean that her new life is an easy one. Eilis is a small-town girl from Ireland living in a bustling big city—and she doesn’t look or act like the other girls around her. She may be sweet and charming, but she’s also timid and uncomfortable, and she has a hard time making new friends. Slowly, though—with a little help from her supportive new boyfriend—she begins to feel more comfortable with her surroundings. And, thanks to Ronan’s sincere and effortless performance, the character’s transformation from the awkward new girl to the strong, successful young woman in love is enjoyable to watch.

But Brooklyn is more than just a sweet story. It’s also a visually striking film—bright, vibrant, and full of life. Crowley plays with period touches and a vivid color palette, while screenwriter Nick Hornby gives the story some comical characters and an easygoing sense of humor. And the result is a thoughtful, moving, and entirely enjoyable film.

Brooklyn is a lovable award season drama. While so many movies this time of year seem to try too hard to be dark and heavy and important, it’s a refreshingly simple and altogether beautiful exception to the rule.

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