Watching “Brooklyn” is like watching those old matinee movies that used to be on TV, when I was a kid. I almost expected Donna Reed to pop up from behind the sofa.
With a script by Nick Hornby and based on a Colm Toibin book, the dialogue can be snappy. And it all looks gorgeous, with Ireland being green and pleasant and Montreal standing in for Brooklyn, in the 1950s.
Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent are glorious and in full ham acting mode. Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson are both handsome and effective as the two love interests.
But it’s Saoirse Ronan who is in every scene and – if you don’t love her face and figure – stay away. And, yes, she does look and dress rather like Donna Reed did, in those afternoon movies.
Young Eilis (Ronan) moves from Wexford to Brooklyn. She’s homesick. There is a point being made here about the restricted choices of Ireland set against the infinite possibility of New York.
Costumes, shops and homes are all very lovely.
I wanted to love it. Everyone at the Stratford East Picturehouse free screening for members sighed and appeared to be enraptured by it.
It’s enjoyable enough, but it feels like watching a story that’s been told very often, in books and films.
The music is superb.
Still, if you fancy a few hours in the 1950s, do go see it. You’ll probably love it. Everybody else does.