Sunday, 16 December 2018

About a Girl... who moves to New York

A YOUNG woman leaving the countryside for the big city feels like a tale that might

A YOUNG woman leaving the countryside for the big city feels like a tale that might resonate with the people of Henley.

Based on Irish author Colm Tóibin’s novel of the same name, Brooklyn tells the story of one woman’s experience of Irish economic migration in the Fifties.

It stars Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey, who leaves rural Wexford in east Ireland for a menial job for a rackety boarding house in the eponymous Brooklyn.

She is ensnared by the promise of living in America and any homesickness is quickly forgotten as a romance forms with Tony — an Irish-American boy played by Emory Cohen.

Sharp-tongued Mrs Kehoe (Julie Walters) runs the private boarding house, which leads to Eilis befriending a local priest played by an avuncular Jim Broadbent — with whom a mutually supportive relationship is built.

With a screenplay by About a Boy and High Fidelity author Nick Hornby, whose previous film work includes An Education and Wild, the story sees Eilis made to choose between her new love Tony and her love from back home, played by Domhnall Gleeson.

Ultimately the decision is one between starting again in the new world in New York or returning to Ireland and which life is best for her.

At the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival, Brooklyn won the People’s Choice Award.

It was also widely feted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Director John Crowley’s biggest picture previously was the 2003 black comedy-cum-crime story Intermission, which was shot in documentary style with intertwining storylines, around petty criminal Lehiff — played by Colin Farrell.

Although this story of an Irish immigrant may not be the most colourful way to show the economic boom in America, this love story still has its charm, covering topics such choice, commitments, sacrifice and country which still resonate to the present day.

Review: Connor McLoughlin

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