***1/2 out of ****
John Crowley’s Brooklyn, stars the excellent Saoirse Ronan, who you may remember from 2007’s Atonement –for which she earned an Oscar nomination at age thirteen. She was most recently seen in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. In Brooklyn, she carries the entire movie as a young Irish lady in the 1950s, immigrating to America to seek out work after giving up on prospects in her home country.
The film focuses on the pains of being homesick and the struggle to make a new life for oneself. The film’s period look is vibrantly colorful and polished - nearly to a fault. I didn’t always believe its environment, but its dreamlike atmosphere makes the movie a very comfortable theatrical experience. Ronan is expectedly excellent, carrying nearly every scene in the film. Thanks to talented co-stars like Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters the movie does feature some charm outside of Ronan’s screen presence, but her love-interest co-star, Emory Cohen, only succeeds at seeming sweet. Somehow, he lacks a genuine touch to his performance.
Regardless, Crowley’s direction and the screenplay by Nick Hornby come together with Ronan’s acting in a beautiful looking, cleverly paced film that can remind anyone of how time passes when big changes happen in life.