Friday, March 17, 2017


Happy St. Patrick's Day.  If you're lucky enough to have plans to spend time with someone you love tonight and if you two are up for watching a romantic movie that ties in to today, I've got a wonderful recommendation for you.  Watch the movie BROOKLYN.  It was an Oscar nominee for Best Picture of 2016 and Saoirse Ronan was a Best Actress nominee for her radiant performance.  She's the independent, warm, witty Irish immigrant who goes to America to start a new life for herself.  She wants to move beyond the often limiting borders of family, religion and society in her hometown.  She relocates to Brooklyn. She finds a job and friends, she learns more about herself and finds love.
What a great character she must have been to play.  She's very much a modern woman.  She's honest about her feelings.  She's kind.  And classy.  A respectable young lady.  And who's to say that a respectable young lady cannot find a man sexually attractive?  She seems to light up a room when she enters.  She adds a deluxe quality to her department store job behind the counter.
She's not out to cut away from her roots.  She does want to take the best of her Irish upbringing and blend it into her new life.  But sometimes family and friends have their own plans for your life.  This simple, sweet story is more complicated than it appears.  It's beautifully photographed, beautifully acted.
There is a scene on a streetcar that is absolute heaven.  To me, it's a classic scene.  I would've paid full admission again to sit through that scene alone.  It's so richly romantic and well-written.  The Irish girl and the Italian guy from Brooklyn.   And we don't see tired old stereotypical portrayals.  I love the streetcar scene. Yes, this is a perfect romantic film to watch on St. Patrick's Day.

About the lead actress, she was born in the U.S. and her family moved to Ireland when she was three.  She's in her early 20s and, reportedly, has lived in Manhattan for about one year.  BROOKLYN brought Saoirse her second Oscar nomination.  Her first came for Best Supporting Actress in ATONEMENT, a deep-dish British romantic drama set during WW2.  She was only 13 when she got her first Oscar nomination for playing a wealthy British girl in her early teens.
Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL did not get the love from moviegoers that it deserved.  Ralph Fiennes, doing a comedy turn that would've gotten a standing ovation from Preston Sturges, should have been a Best Actor Oscar nominee.  Saoirse Ronan plays Agatha in the story.

She was delicious in that touching 2014 comedy/drama set in 1930s Europe.

To really see the range that Saoirse Ronan had when she got her Oscar nomination for 2007's ATONEMENT, you must see her in a 2007 U.S. romantic comedy that was never released.  Why, I do not know.  Heckerling's comedy went straight to DVD.  Maybe it's not a great comedy like the best of Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder, but it's a helluva lot better than most of those juvenile Adam Sandler comedies that got wide release.  The 2007 comedy was directed and written by Amy Heckerling.  It's called I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN.  This sweet comedy stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd and Tracey Ullman as "Mother Nature."
Michelle Pfeiffer plays a 40-year old divorced working mother.  She's a scriptwriter and producer for a sitcom shot in Hollywood.  She's insecure about her age when she falls for an actor who's been added to the sitcom as a nerdy, new character.  Only in show biz in L.A. would a 40 year-old woman who looks like MICHELLE PFEIFFER have to feel insecure about her age.  Paul Rudd plays the actor.  The scriptwriter is friendly with her supportive ex-husband.  He's played by Jon Lovitz.  You will love the mother-daughter relationship in this movie.  Saoirse Ronan plays the down-to-earth, unaffected, loving and lovable Southern California teen going through an awkward phase.
She's been a California kid, a privileged teen in a wealthy British family, and an Irish immigrant who finds love in BROOKLYN.  Ms. Ronan is quite an actress.  Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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