Film Review: Brooklyn


Director John Crowley’s Brooklyn is a period romance that will charm viewers. The film feels safe but accomplished.

Eillis Lacey has limited opportunity to work in her native Ireland. Travelling to New York, like many other young Irish people at that time, Eillis finds herself far from her family and all she has known in Brooklyn…

Directed by John Crowley and scripted by Nick Hornsby, based on Colm Toibin’s novel, Brooklyn is a film about an immigrant in the 1950s. The film tells the tale of Eillis, a shy Irish girl who learns to call Brooklyn her home. The film does not concentrate on the harsh realities of immigrants at such a time, instead focusing on the protagonist’s struggle to adjust to her new life and a burgeoning romance.

Hornsby has managed to draw a sympathetic character with protagonist Eillis. At first shy and homesick, it is easy to empathise with her. On her return visit to Ireland, Eillis becomes less sympathetic. This is because the audience is asked to invest in her relationship with Tony. The strength of Brooklyn is the skill of the writing in making Eillis sympathetic, then less sympathetic, before redeeming her.

Brooklyn is well paced and entertaining throughout. The romance between Eillis and Tony is wonderfully depicted. The 1950s setting allows for an old-fashioned style of romance; this gentle courting is delightful to watch. Art direction and production values are great; there is a polished look to the film, with its wonderful styling and costumes, which matches the tone of the film.

The setting of Brooklyn is a rather sanitised vision of New York and Ireland in the 1950s. There is no real sense of the socio-political issues of the time. Rather than a film about immigration in the period, the film is a personal story and a romance. Saoirse Ronan delivers a convincing performance as Eillis. She has good chemistry with Emory Cohen’s Tony. Julie Walters provides laughs as Mrs Kehoe.

Beguiling to the eye and charming throughout, Brooklyn is a wonderful slice of escapism.

Brooklyn is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2015.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinematic delights this week, including the latest trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Into The Woods, Paddington and more…

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Here is the latest trailer for the final instalment of Peter Jackson’s second Tolkien franchise, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Sadly Gollum is nowhere to be seen, but there is plenty of hobbits, eleves, wizards and the like. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will hit UK screens on  12th December 2014.

Into The Woods

Carrying on with the fantasy theme, a full trailer for Into The Woods dropped this week. It seems to have all the winning ingredients; fairy tales, musical numbers, and a great cast. Meryl Streep in particular looks wonderfully hammy as the witch. Into The Woods will be released in UK cinemas on 9th January 2015.

Horrible Bosses 2

Above is a clip from the forthcoming sequel Horrible Bosses 2. The film unites the main cast from the first film with newcomers Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz. It was refreshing to see Jennifer Aniston in a different kind of role in the first film, and it looks like this is no different. Horrible Bosses 2 is out on 28th November 2014.


Paddington One Sheet

Oh my! Paddington in the snow. I recently bought a red duffle coat, and was told that I looked like a cross between Paddington Bear and Red Riding Hood. It was the greatest compliment ever. Anyway, Paddington, featuring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters, will reach UK screens on 28th November 2014.

The Gambler

What is interesting about this trailer for The Gambler is that it uses The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’, a song that many film fans will associate with The Departed, which also memorably starred Marky Mark. The Gambler, which also stars John Goodman and Brie Larson, is set for release in UK cinemas on 19th December 2014.

The Pyramid

Above is a featurette on upcoming horror The Pyramid. What I want to know is what exactly is in these pyramids. Is it mummies come to life? Or is it a more Indiana Jones-style bent? The Pyramid is out in UK cinemas on 5th December 2014.


Contemporary remake of the classic musical Annie is out just in time for Christmas. It is unclear how much singing will be involved from the above trailer, and how much Cameron Diaz’s Miss Hannigan will replicate the original. But here’s hoping. Annie hits UK screens on 20th December 2014.