TIFF 2015: Brooklyn is a Big Audience-Pleasing Bowl of Irish Stew 

Five minutes into Brooklyn, a sweeping new drama that reminds us America is a nation of immigrants, my heart melted. About two hours later, I was reminded how much of a sucker I am for a well told but emotional yarn. I'm fairly confident American audiences will gobble up this lovely movie like the fine Irish stew your ma used to make.

click to enlarge The lovely Saorise Ronan stars in Brooklyn.
  • The lovely Saorise Ronan stars in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn tells the sometimes tear-jerking story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), who leaves behind her sister, widowed mother and their working class-poor existence in Ireland. She arrives in New York and promptly lands, along with many other immigrants, in Brooklyn. Once there, her pillow is regularly tear-stained as she longs for her Irish home.

"Home-sickness is like most sickness," says the local Irish-American priest (the always delightful Jim Broadbent). "It will make you feel wretched. And then it will leave you and go bother somebody else."

Soon enough, Eilis meets a young Italian lad (Emory Cohen) and love conquers all. Or at least until a family tragedy draws Eilis back to County Wexford, Ireland, where she sees everything she left behind through a different lens.

Audiences should warmly embrace Brooklyn when it opens in the United States around Christmas. The cinematography, costumes and musical score are all Oscar-caliber and director John Crowley perfectly captures America in the early 1950s: dance halls, Bing Crosby on the radio and the Dodgers (when they were in Brooklyn, of course). 

Brooklyn is by far, my favorite film at TIFF thus far.


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