Synopsis: With limited options in her small Irish town, Eillis’ sister sends her to America, the land of opportunity, where she flourishes. However, after an unplanned trip back to Ireland, Eillis ponders as to whether she can have the life she’s always wanted in Ireland or America.
Thoughts: An American tale. I’m a sucker. What’s a girl to do?
Conclusion: 5/5 buckets of popcorn
While struggling in her small town in Ireland, Eillis, played by Saoirse Ronan, discovers that her sisters has written to a man of the cloth in Brooklyn, New York about setting up a job and boarding in Brooklyn on her behalf. While on her way to the land of opportunity, it’s clear that Eillis is a naive traveling immigrant. Luckily, Eillis befriends a seasoned Irish Brooklynite whom informs her of the fundaments of traveling on a ship, and how to go thru Ellis Island.
After several miserable winter months at work, and her boarding house with gossiping boarding-mates and grouchy overseers, Eillis meets a boy, Tony, played by Emory Cohen. A sweet undereducated Italian boy born ‘n’ raised in Brooklyn, whose got a keen eye for Irish gals. The two date. She goes to school. Falls in love. Passes her classes with flying colors. Spring has sprung. Life is good. Meanwhile, Eillis’ sister is harboring her ill condition and suffers an untimely death. Plagued with guilt, Eillis rushes to her mothers side. She goes home.
But! Not before marrying her Brooklyn love, Tony. While at home, Eillis allows her childhood best friend, and mother to operate under the idea that she’s still single. Eillis extends her summer trip to see her best friend get married, and enjoys the company of an upper class young man who didn’t bat an eye in her direction previous of living in Brooklyn.
Eillis, even lands a job in her dream field. Now, Eillis has a decision to make. Perhaps her home in Ireland is finally now the “land of opportunity”?
One of the best things about Brooklyn is that it’s an American tale, told through the lens of Eillis’ childlike eyes much like Fievel from An American Tail. Is Eillis a tiny Russian mouse fearful of evil cats? No. But… her timid manners does give Eillis mousey like qualities as a small-town “old country” girl in the big city. It’s a joy to see her grow in Brooklyn, as well as, into herself as young woman.
It’s no secret I’m a complete sucker for coming of age stories with female leads. Just read my review of Girlhood. It’s a rare treat. In this coming of age story’s case, it was nice to see Eillis’ become a young who feels noticed. At the top of the film, she makes no effort in any aspect of her life because she feels overseen. Plus, she operated under the “I’m leaving anyway” philosophy so there was no major effort in the dating scene or her education which does makes sense to a certain degree… at least to me.
Honestly, this girl, Eillis, is living most girls dreams. She somehow managed to survive a tough barren winter season, and emerged into the spring with a bounty of options. A bounty of options on two different continents!
The film is just a good story. It resonates with today’s audiences. I mean what 20-something isn’t trying to adapt to the dating scene while dealing with fussy roommates?