TIFF 2015 Review: Brooklyn

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2015 by - September 08, 2015
TIFF 2015 Review: Brooklyn

Special Presentations

At some point in everyone’s life, we all leave home. Whether it’s by choice or not, we are thrust out of the comfort we’ve known, into a strange world that frightens us. But from that displacement can come the realization that home is wherever you make it. Brooklyn is about such a transition. About the kind of melancholic homesickness that pierces your veins, in a time when it wasn’t so easy to cross an ocean, and saying “goodbye” could last a lifetime. Beautifully adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Tóibín’s award winning novel, and elegantly directed by John Crowley (Boy A), Brooklyn flourishes with a remarkable cast.

Set in 1952, the film starts with meek Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) set to leave home for America, all by herself. Terrified of leaving her mother and sister, Eilis is all too aware that her only hope of a fulfilling life lay across the sea. In Brooklyn, New York, she finds herself at home in a boarding house amongst various other girls in similar circumstances. Irish Catholic guilt permeates ever scene, cleverly laced with wry humour and touching heart. The film balances warmth with melancholic loneliness expertly, and thanks in large part to a beautifully nuanced performance from young Ronan, it manages to elevate itself above mere mainstream fare.

The entire cast shines in Brooklyn, alongside Ronan’s remarkably mature, poised performance. Emory Cohen as Eilis’s shy Italian boyfriend, Tony, captivates with a cheeky grin, and glowing puppy-dog eyes. He’s impossible not to fall in love with. Julie Walters is uproarious as the landlady Mrs. Kehoe, who runs the boarding house Eilis calls home, and Jim Broadbent supplies a perfectly compassionate father figure as the tender Father Flood, Eilis’s sponsor for coming to America.

Brooklyn manages what so few films seem to try for anymore: to make us feel. While it will appeal more largely to a predominantly mainstream crowd, Brooklyn affords its audience the luxury of a truly emotional experience intertwined with a beautifully telling coming of age story that everyone will honestly relate to.

Brooklyn will have its Canadian premiere at the Elgin and Winter Garden theatre on Sunday, September 13th at 6:00pm, with a follow-up screening on Monday, September 14th at 11:00am.

This post was written by
Comments are closed.