Brooklyn -Brooklyn has all the window-dressing of a typical period


One of the many fascinating things about Brooklyn, the new historical drama written byNick Hornby and based on Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name, is how it never truly decides whether it’s Irish or American at heart. Like its soft-spoken protagonist Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), the film exists in a place between two diametric worlds, each with its own hardships and promises.

she is underemployed at a bakery in her provincial Irish hometown and about to embark to New York City, where she’s been offered a job at a posh department store in Brooklyn. She is unsure, afraid, and just a little excited, as any young girl preparing to leave everything she’s ever known and loved might be. She also doesn’t have all that much to leave behind, aside from her mother (Jane Brennan) and her older sister Rose (Fiona Glascott), who seems destined to wither away within a few miles of where she’s lived all her life. One gets the impression early on in the film that Rose has pinned all of her own dreams to Eilis, and the sisters do represent the two most common outcomes for Irish girls in the 1950s: they could get out, or they could consign themselves to a slow death at home.b

Brooklyn has all the window dressings of a typical period drama.beautiful costumes, a sharp attention to historical detail, a story in which the personal reflects the political — so you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve heard this one before. You’d also be wrong, though.

That’s the wonderful thing about Brooklyn: it doesn’t resign itself to one kind of story. One of the true joys of watching this film is remarking on how much of yourself you see in it, and specifically in the character of Eilis. She’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but she’s obscenely easy to root for anyway. Her story is ours, even if it’s separated by decades and several thousands of miles. It’s an allegory, perhaps, but the one thing it isn’t is a fairy tale.


There’s no inevitability, no moralizing, no prescribed path toward happiness. Which is to say it feels real. It feels like home.

























































































































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