Brooklyn is a subtle and nuanced film that successfully reveals its story and characters with a simplicity and elegance that is a rarity in 21st century film. There are three stars in Brooklyn – Saoirse Ronan; its lead actor, the screen-play by Nick Horby, and the costumes by Odlie Dicks-Mireaux’s.
Ronan, the chameleon of appearance and voice shines yet again, leveraging Nick Hornby’s script and Odlie Dicks-Mireaux’s dresses to perfection. Ronan (AAN Atonement, Hanna, The Grand Budapest Hotel) plays Eilis, a young girl of the early 1950’s discovering herself with a guarded sensibility who evolves into a women of quiet confidence in almost baby-like steps.
Hornby (High Fidelity, About A Boy, AAN An Education) himself a celebrated author, adapted the screenplay from Colm Toimbin’s novel of the same name. Hornby’s script never lets Brooklyn fall into the realm of a steamy pot-boiler or stale costume drama.
Odlie Dicks-Mireaux’s (An Education, The Bank Job, Dirty Pretty Things) selections for each of the character’s match with great effect, a period when people dressed for dinner while living in boarding homes. Ronan wears each outfit as if she is the common-girl equivalent of Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954 in Edith Head Costumes).
Brooklyn utilizes a host of supporting characters, who’s roles are small but critically important to the choices and directions taken by Eilis. Eilis’ two male love interests Emory Cohen as Tony, and Domhnall Gleeson as Jim are solid choices.
Notes and Worthless Trivia from Jeff
The beach scene in Ireland is a grabber – the light blue gray skies are a high point of the cinematography offered in Brooklyn. Curracloe Beach, Ballinesker, County Wexford, Ireland was the filming location. The same spot was utilized to portray the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach in the film Saving Private Ryan.
Ronan pronounces her first name “seer-sha” as is tradition while in Ireland and “sur-shuh” while in the United States. She gained a few pounds in weight for Brooklyn to better match the more common figure type of the period.
Gleeson has a starring or principal role in four Oscar nominated films for 2016 – Brooklyn (3), The Revenant (12), Star Wars – The Force Awakens (5), and Ex Machina (3). He is good in each film and the roles are all different.
Ronan was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for Atonement; my favorite film of 2007.
Gleeson co-starred with his father Brendon in Calvary; my favorite film of 2014.
Hornby wrote the novel About A Boy which was made into a film of the same name; my favorite film of 2002.