Atlantic Film Festival: Brooklyn

Friday, Sept. 18 9:30 pm - Park Lane, Theatres 7 & 8

Director: John Crowley
Writer: Nick Hornby
Producer: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Michael Zegen
Country: ireland, United Kingdom, Canada
Runtime: 105 minutes


Brooklyn has a soft start and a cliche premise, so I was worried I would be watching a polite, made-for-TV, Road to Avonlea period drama. However, there's an attention to detail - especially dialogue - that sets this film apart. With the colour of tea, hair scarves, and quick dialogue, Brooklyn has an organic subtlety that drew me in. The interactions of gender, class, religion and individual agency are explored with a light touch, and the relationship between the main character, Eilis, and the supporting cast are continually framed by social context. Late into the movie the actions of Eilis seem out of character, and the resulting tension feels artificial, but when the bubble breaks, the pieces fall into place and I felt a retroactive satisfaction. Brooklyn is a unique film with a refreshing, feminist take on the coming-to-America yarn.

Review by Lachlan MacLeod