Brooklyn (2015)

3:08 PM

Two Countries, Two Loves, One Heart. 
 Brooklyn is directed by John Crowley (Boy A, Intermission) and stars Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Julie Walters (Brave, Harry Potter), Emory Cohen (The Place Beyond the Pines, Afterschool) and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina, The Revenant). "An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within". Brooklyn has received high acclaim and many awards nominations but hardly any wins - is that for a reason?


Before I get into this review, you may have noticed that for the past couple of weeks, I have been reviewing films that are not new cinema releases such as Ex Machina and The Walk. This is because I have created 'Silver Sunday' - every Sunday, I plan to watch a film that is aimed to maturer audiences and has been critically acclaimed. This may be something that I stop doing eventually but at the moment, I am enjoying it. This week's Silver Sunday was Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is a really charming film that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't actually know why it was shut out from wins at the Oscars as this film is quite magical and special. I am happy it took home a big BAFTA win as that is definitely well deserved. From the story to the acting - the film is an all round uplifting film - even though it does have some touching moments too. Brooklyn's main fault lies in its message which I will go into more detail about later. 

The story for Brooklyn is very fast paced - for a reasonably long film, it went quite fast. I usually find romance and period films quite slow (this is both of those combined) but Brooklyn was actually quite funny and had some touching moments which helped to bring the story along. At the beginning, I did think the film jumped into the story a little too quick - it wasn't 100% clear why Ronan's character was moving to New York, who she was living with and where she got the money from. I thought the love triangle element wasn't really needed - there wasn't much time to choose a side (sorry Twilight fans) as a lot more time was spent with one partner over the other. The romance though was very cute and sweet - I found the couple very likeable and I found their romance believable. Brooklyn also took a very sad turn towards the end of the film - the casualty wasn't who you would expect it to be in this type of film which was refreshing in away as it emphasised the importance of a certain type of relationship (Spoiler free). Ronan's character did become slightly unlikeable towards the end of the film as you wondered why she was making certain choices - however, she does come round in the end which is good. I also liked how many scenes at the end of the film mirrored scenes that occurred at the beginning of the film - the lecture on the boat and the conversation at dinner - this was quite clever. 

The biggest complaint I have about this film is its message. Even though it tries to portray a strong and independent woman who loves her career as well as her love life, I think this is overshadowed by the idea that 'home is where your husband is'. The final choice Ronan's character makes at the end of the film is heavily influenced by her husband - I wouldn't mind if she also mentioned her social life and career but her main reason seemed so that she could be with her husband. Some may see this as sweet but I personally believe a woman should aspire in more areas than her love life so I wasn't too impressed with the core message Brooklyn has. Luckily this film appeals more to older audiences so it won't be influencing young girls too much .

The acting in the film was incredibly strong. I can now understand why Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Oscar has her performance was fantastic. She held the film very well - even though her character did become a little unlikeable at the end, Ronan's performance helped to make the character relatable - Ronan also added to the charm. I was also very impressed by Emory Cohen who I thought was a fantastic love interest - I usually don't find the male love interests very likeable in these types of films but I thought Cohen really made his character seem real, nice and approachable. I wasn't really familiar with his name before this film, but Emory Cohen is definitely someone I will look out for in the future. Julie Walters also impressed me - I thought her character was very likeable and she had some very funny lines. This must be Domhnall Gleeson's 4th or 5th 2016 Oscar contender and I think he did a good job even though he didn't really get enough screen time to make too much of an impression.

Brooklyn is just a very charming film which makes sense because its partly set in Ireland with Irish characters and the Irish are known for being charming. The acting is outstanding - Ronan leads the way strongly and is supported incredibly well by Emory Cohen. Julie Walters helps to lift the tone with a very witty performance. Brooklyn has some really touching and emotional moments but also has some really uplifting moments as well. Even though it has some major message problems, Brooklyn is a charming and special little film.

4 STARS
A-

What did you think of BROOKLYN? Do you think it was undeservingly shut out at the Oscars? - COMMENT BELOW

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