Posted by: greercn | November 9, 2015


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.



  1. Just read the book, which is more than a bit schematic, one for a rainy afternoon at home maybe?

    • I’ve tried to read the book and will try again. But I found the movie to be a little dull. Still, everyone else thinks the book and movie are wonderful so I am grateful for your comment!

  2. Like with sufragette I felt like there was no need to actually see the movie- I got everything I needed to know from the title and one or two stills. Though you do say the music is standout, fair enough.

  3. I think that’s a good call! Unless you absolutely adore Saoirse Ronan, you can skip it. But do listen to this, if you like Irish folk music. I think it’s wonderful:

    • The singer is Irish and is called Iarla O’Lionaird and the song is Casadh An Tsugain, which translates as “Twisting the Rope”. But you’re Irish and probably know all this. I am enjoying your blog.

    • sounds nice. Will give the album a listen. its sonething very from my normal musical diet but thats no bad thing. I didnt know the translation. I dont know irish sadly, though I did see ‘saoirse’ on a sectarian mural and worked out it means freedom! Im with you on not loving her overly. She has something of the potato about her. Glad you like the blog! Cheers.

  4. I like your reviews too btw. Nice clarity to ’em!

  5. Your “something of the potato” line made me laugh, although I felt bad about that laughter. Thank you for the compliment!

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