‘Brooklyn’ movie review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Based on the bestselling book by Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn follows a woman from Ireland named Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) as she learns American culture in the United States while remaining proud of her Irish culture. Along the way, she meets an Italian-American named Tony (Emory Cohen). The film is visually great, because it has beautiful shots of New York City and Ireland.
The handheld camerawork made the film look like Downton Abbey. Nick Hornby’s screenplay has the type of dialogue that you could find in About a Boy (which he also wrote) or a British romantic comedy today.
The dinner scenes in the film are great, because they have unexpected responses. For example, Tony’s brother has a rant that talks about the Irish when Eilis has dinner with Tony’s family. Julie Walters (who stars in the new Masterpiece Classic show Indian Summers) is great as the landlady of the boarding house.
Brooklyn was screened at this year’s VIFF Opening Gala, where director John Crowley was present for a Q-and-A. He discussed the casting and filming of Brooklyn.
On casting Ronan to play Eilis, he said he was amazed by her performance in her first film Atonement. On casting Cohen to play Tony, Crowley and his team found him when they did auditions for the role in the United States. Cohen is from Brooklyn, which adds to the authenticity. According to Crowley, Walters was inspired by her Irish father to play the landlady at Eilis’ boarding house. Jim Broadbent (who plays the priest that helps Eilis get to the United States) worked with Crowley on Closed Circuit, a film about the security cameras in London.
The film is an American-Canadian-British-Irish production. Although it was filmed on location in New York City and Ireland, some of the interior scenes were filmed in Quebec. According to Crowley, the film cost $12-million to make, which is great for a low-budget film that looks like a big-budget film.
Crowley read the book that inspired the film for pleasure before he received a phone call to read Hornby’s screenplay of the film. Hornby’s wife is also one of the film’s producers.
Brooklyn opens in limited release this November.