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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Review: Brooklyn

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Emory Cohen and Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
  • Emory Cohen and Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn

There’s no faster way to limit the audience for a particular film than by calling it a romance, a term that’s hard to avoid when discussing director John Crowley’s Brooklyn. Which is a shame, because the film effectively transcends labels with a finely observed portrait of a young Irish woman who emigrates to 1950s America in search of a better life. Based on Colm Toibin’s award-winning 2009 novel and adapted for the screen by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity), Brooklyn focuses more on the romantic entanglements experienced by Eillis (Saoirse Ronan, Atonement) than the hardscrabble lives of European immigrants in mid-20th century New York. But both Crowley and Ronan (who yesterday won a Best Actress of the year award from the New York Film Critics Circle for her work in Brooklyn) handle the character’s gradual coming of age with clear-eyed grace and subtlety. It’s very fine filmmaking, “romance” or not.

Brooklyn screens today, Dec. 3, at the Elmwood Palace and Canal Place Theaters. Starting tomorrow, Dec. 4, the film screens exclusively at Canal Place.

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