Brooklyn—Showcases Fifities America, Land of Possiblilites

Brooklyn is a 1950’s period piece with beautiful settings in Brooklyn and Ireland. Based on a 2009 novel, by Irish author Colm Toibin, the plot focuses on a young Irish girl, Eilis Lacey’s (Saoirse Ronan) journey from Ireland to Brooklyn, New York. Eilis chooses to immigrate under the sponsorship of the Catholic Church because she has no opportunities in Ireland. In Ireland, her older sister, Rose (Fiona Glascott), has a good job as a bookkeeper and encourages Eilis to go.  Rose willingly stays behind with their widowed mother.

Brooklyn dody
Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn

 

 

The fundamental theme of the movie is the conflicting emotional pull of home versus the rational understanding that new beginnings in a foreign country present the possibility but not the guarantee of a better future. Eilis begins life in America living in a boarding house  and working as a sales clerk in a large department store. Shop girlHer homesickness is assuaged when she meets an Italian American plumber, Anthony “Tony” Fiorello (Emory Cohen).

Eilis and tony
Eilis and Tony

The plot twist in Brooklyn is that once Eilis has begun to establish a new life in America, she is presented with the opportunity to build a life rich with possibilities in Ireland.  The question for Eilis is which will she choose: America (representing risk and the unknown) or Ireland (representing tradition and long-term emotional connections)?

 

the choice

Brooklyn is drenched in fifties culture and provides an exquisite view of the possibilities or lack-their-of for unmarried, young women in both Ireland and America. Marriage to a man with a future is  the safest road to a secure future but education that provides a skill is another pathway. Brooklyn captures the transformation of one young woman through a transition of clothes and hair styles from an insecure newcomer to a self-assured young woman who has chosen her own future.

dody
Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn

 

The brightness of Eilis’s future shines through in a movie leaving this viewer feeling better about the world.

 

Brooklyn polished

A transformed Eilis returning to Ireland

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s