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Brooklyn Review

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Fox Searchlight


Pg-13. 112 min





So it's the end of Oscar season and as always, especially after expanding the field, there are films that fall through the cracks and surface on the nomination list. Frankly I don't quite understand the bandwagon for some of these minor flicks but maybe it's the idea that so many folks like to think of themselves as outsiders selecting something no one else seems to care about.


The final two nominations for me were ROOM and this one, BROOKLYN, which is a mild mannered period piece about a young woman's struggle to decide between her new life in the United States and the one she left behind on the Emerald Isle.


Like the song says, "Time's drawing closer to choose, to cry for the life you're beginning or cry for the one you will lose."


The year is 1952 and the southeast corner of the Eire has very little to offer a young woman starting out in life. The opportunities for education career and romance are very limited in this part of paradise. Ailis, (Saoirse Ronan) has made a very difficult decision to leave her mother and sister and seek a new life here in America.


Even though it's ironic that the grass is greener in Brooklyn New York then it was back home, what at first seems to be a daunting existence becomes easier and more fulfilling with each passing day. The church helps her begin an education, bookkeeping, at a local business affords her a job. She bonds with some of the girls in her boarding house and eventually meets a nice young man. No, he isn't Irish but Italian so still a Catholic and the possessor of one of those earnest and charming personalities that you only find in the movies. Soon the two marry but before she tells her family her sister is taken leaving mother all alone.


Upon returning to Ireland for sister Rose funeral, Eilis find that a lot has changed. One of the well-to-do young men seems to have taken a fancy to her and the local business has need of her bookkeeping talent. Not only that but she is now all that mother has left.


You can easily see how this dilemma will lead to a bittersweet choice that she will have to make, and BROOKLYN tells that story in a charming and uncomplicated way.


There's very little fireworks or grand drama here just a little tail of what might have been for any of our Irish grandmothers a long long time ago.


I'm frankly surprised by the fact that it made it into the finals for the best picture but on the other hand I can find nothing bad to say.






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