Brooklyn is a very moving film about sacrifices, family obligations, and wanting a better life. It’s the story of a young, Irish immigrant in the 1950’s, and it’s one that I could relate to, especially at this particular moment in my life. I didn’t cross an ocean, but I did live on the opposite coast for almost a decade, and I know what it’s like to want a different, or bigger, life than the one you knew growing up. And I understand the guilt that comes from being away from family, and the homesickness, which came in reverse for me, hitting me hard after years of being away. There are ties that pull you back…and then the reasons you wanted to leave hit you all over again. I was a bit stunned at how meaningful this film was for me.

Saoirse Ronan is marvelous. She has a face for film, and there are several beautiful, long camera shots that show off her striking features. There’s something about her that makes her seem more mature than Jennifer Lawrence and Brie Larson, despite being younger than both. I fumed when she was nominated for Atonement as a kid, because on principle, I don’t think child actors should be nominated and “compete” against people who’ve worked, sometimes, their entire lives. (Yes, they may be precocious and wise beyond their years, but it is much easier to tap into acting as a child, than to be vulnerable and step into character as an adult, who’s lost that childlike innocence/playfulness.) But looking back, her performance is still the one that really stands out, so I may have to rethink my stance. She clearly has a long career ahead of her.

It should also be noted that one of the male leads is such a dreamboat, that the girls behind me at the theater were giggling and practically sighing every time he came on screen.  Naturally I went on IMDB as soon as I left and found out his name is Emory Cohen. (I assume the offers will be pouring in.) It’s a great cast overall, and I really enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson using his Irish accent for a change.

The shots of Ireland were gorgeous, especially one scene by the ocean. I traveled to Dublin and Lucan in high school, and I remember how beautiful the sky was there–it just seemed so clear and blue, compared to the one I saw daily at home. I enjoyed my time there and would love to go back one day and see more of the country. I’ll end my post today with two of my favorite photos I took on my trip. (They probably seem horribly touristy to anyone who lives there, but I was 15 and castles and famous colorful doors were amazing!)

Based on Colm Toibin’s 2009 novel, Brooklyn is nominated for three awards: Best Picture, Actress in a Leading Role for Saoirse Ronan, and Adapted Screenplay.

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