As I mentioned yesterday, this time of year I try to see as many nominated movies as possible before the Golden Globe awards in January. This past weekend my quest included a trip to the Coolidge Corner theater to see "Brooklyn."
The movie is based on a novel written by Colm Toibin. The screenplay for the film was penned by Nick Hornby, best known as the author of "About a Boy."
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you do not want to know anything about the plot of this movie.*
"Brooklyn" tells the story of a young woman named Eilis (pronounced Ey-Lish) Lacey who leaves her life in a quiet town in Ireland to move to the United States. The story is set in the 1950s, with costumes and automobiles to match.
Eilis is played by the beautiful Saoirse Ronan. You may recognize her from "The Grand Budapest Hotel" or "The Lovely Bones." She does an incredible job of displaying strong emotion without say a lot.
When Eilis arrives in Brooklyn she moves into a boarding house. My favorite scenes in the film were the ones at the dinner table each night with the head of the boarding house and the other young women in residence. Two of the girls are antagonizers and have some of the best lines in the movie.
Though Eilis is homesick at first and terrible at her job as a sales girl at the high end deparmtent store Bartocci's, she eventually meets a young man named Tony. Tony is Italian and there are all kinds of comments and jokes in the dialogue about the tensions between the Irish and the Italians in New York.
In one scene, Eilis is preparing to meet Tony's parents and the girls in the boarding house offer to teach her how to eat spaghetti. They sit her down at the table and promptly decide any time she looks like she's about to get sauce all over herself or another person they will yell "Splash!" to signal she's made a mistake. I was dying of laughter.
Of course as things start to go swimmingly for Eilis with work, night school and Tony, she gets bad news from home. Her older sister Rose, her best friend and confidant, has passed away. Let me tell you, bring tissues to the theater! I nearly lost it.
Once back in Ireland to see her mother, Eilis gets pushed toward Jim Farrell, a very eligible bachelor. Jim is played by Domhnall Gleeson, who charmed audiences as the lead in "About Time" with Rachel McAdams (you can read my review of that movie here). It's a classic love triangle and there are reasons to root for both men.
I won't ruin the ending by saying who she chooses, but I will say I was very happy with her choice.
Throughout the movie I was completely distracted by the fact that Saoirse Ronan looks exactly like my college roommate's younger sister (who is 100 percent Irish).
I really loved this movie. It was sweet and sad all at the same time. When the credits rolled I wanted to sit there and wait for it to start again. I'll definitely rent it once it becomes available on Netflix, Amazon or at Redbox.
This coming weekend I hope to keep my movie kick going with either "Concussion" or "The Danish Girl." The road to the Golden Globes continues!