← Back to Reviews
Soairse Ronan received her first Oscar nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress for her performance in Brooklyn, a luminous coming of age drama from 2015 that also received nominations for adapted screenplay and Best Picture of the Year.

The story begins in Ireland during the early 1950's where we meet Eilis (Ronan),a young Irish girl who is preparing to begin a new life in Brooklyn, New York where a job and a place to live have already been arranged for her. Upon her arrival in Brooklyn, the frightened young mouse struggles to fit in with the girls who live in the boarding house with her and her new job as a department store salesgirl, not to mention a serious case of homesickness. She begins night classes to help her in her dream of becoming an accountant. She even finds romance with a hard-working young Italian named Tony (Emory Cohen).

Just as her new life seems to be falling quietly into place, a family tragedy forces Eilis to return to Ireland for awhile and she actually begins building a life there similar to the one she has built in Brooklyn. a life which she now seems to be on the verge of just throwing away.

Director John Crowley puts a loving hand to Nick Hornby's Oscar-nominated screenplay that begins as a somewhat conventional coming of age story watching a young girl adjusting to not only a new life but a clashing of cultures. I love when one of the girls in the boarding house advises her that if she is going to be involved with an Italian boy, make sure he doesn't talk about baseball and his mother all the time. The story does a surprising 180 when Eilis returns to Ireland and goes to places that actually found this viewer talking back to the screen, a sure sign that I am completely invested in what's going on.

Crowley employed a first rate production team in bringing this lavish story that takes place on two different continents to fruition. Art direction, set direction, cinematography, costumes, and Michael Brook's music deserve special mention and casting is pretty much on the money here...Ronan, nominated last year for Lady Bird, proves that performance was no fluke and her nomination here was richly deserved as well. The way this young actress can command a movie screen just continues to amaze me. Cohen lights up the screen as young Tony and I also loved Julie Walters as the boarding house den mother who bristles at improper language at the dinner table. If you liked Lady Bird, this one is a don't-miss.