Charming, moving and heart-warming, Brooklyn represents the true beauty of simple storytelling. Set in the 1950’s, the film follows Saoirse Ronan’s Eilis, a young woman who trades in her quiet existence in a small Irish town, for the bright lights of New York City.
It’s a film in which not an awful lot happens, and that is precisely the point, revelling in the smaller moments that make up this massive life step. Ronan is magnificent in what, on the surface at least, is a low key role. She expertly displays the fear and homesickness you would expect in such a situation, but the real revelation is the subtle increase in confidence Eilis displays as she begins to feel more and more at home in this foreign land.
It is a film that is beautifully constructed, from the immaculate attention to detail in the period settings of New York (bathed in sunshine, streets paved with gold indeed) and Enniscorthy, to the ensemble cast- including an hilarious turn from Julie Walters- that populate both sides of the Atlantic. Containing a poignant look at the heartbreak felt by those leaving their homelands for a chance at something better, as well as the pain felt by those they’ve left behind, the film comes with a subtle emotional punch. One of the most sincere and worthy offerings of the year. A joy to behold in more ways than one.