I thought this movie was going to be a bit slow and very hightone -- like those prestigious Merchant Ivory films we got in the 1980s. Wrong. Brooklyn never loses its working class sensibilities and warmth. Ronan glides through the role with grace and wit, even when sea sickness hits her at both ends during the ocean liner voyage to America. A gorgeously photographed film, director John Crowley lets the camera rest on Ronan's gentle face. He gives her close-ups, the quality of close-ups we've seen in classic Hollywood films from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. She's an actress who can let emotions wash over her face effectively in a close-up. In Brooklyn, the Irish lass meets an Italian guy at a dance. It's a new feeling in a new land but complications arise. And secrets. There's the pull of home and family and society. Here's a trailer.
Saoirse Ronan is radiant in this movie. Julie Walters is a hoot as the woman who runs the Brooklyn boarding house. Emory Cohen is perfectly cast as Tony Fiorello. Is Tony the right man for her? This young actor delivers a rich, tender performance. He's terrific with Ronan.