Brooklyn review

Brooklyn is a beauty to be sure – a lyrically crafted and very touching tale of a young woman coming out of her shell when embarking on a new life in the New York borough in 1952.

Ronan is smashing as shy Eilis, initially scared of her new existence in America, homesick for her life and friends in Ireland. This superb performer inhabits all the awkwardness, frustration and slowly building confidence the role requires with the most beguiling subtlety. She's marvellous to watch when timidly making new fiends at her boarding house (Walters is magnificent as the bolshy matriarch of the place) and most engaging when falling for gauche Italian American plumber Tony (a very likeable turn from Cohen). All the players are first rate, in fact – the acting is rich with rewards.

When Eilish has to return to Ireland for a tragic matter in the second half, the energy dips slightly as she is pursued by Gleeson as a potential new suitor for her, but this is but a minor quibble for a perfectly pitched piece that shows the turmoil young women faced in locating to a new frontier and the determination in finding a man.

This picture of what life might have been like for these youthful Irish girls over 60 years ago is depicted with affable freshness and smooth skill. It's a colourful, moving and immensely persuasive effort that deserves kudos aplenty. See it.

Brooklyn at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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