Review: Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn review

Based on the acclaimed novel by Colm Tolbin, Brooklyn follows the story of Ellis, an Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) in 1950s New York who falls for a tough Italian plumber (Emory Cohen). However, when her past catches up with her, and she goes back to her native Ireland for a visit, she faces temptation from another man (Domhnall Gleeson) and is forced to choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
The good thing about Brooklyn is that even though it fails to truly compel you it is wonderfully acted and Soarise Ronan in particular proves why she is one of the most talented actresses on the planet with a wonderful central performance.


As Ellis she’s able to give a performance of great nuance and sensitivity and bring a genuinely likeable character to the screen that I did care about to a certain extent. And the supporting performances are quite good as well. Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson, both do good work. Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters also manage to do well with their minimal screen-time. The film also happens to be gorgeously made and great to look at. It’s directed by John Crowley, a director who previously did a great little small film called Boy A with Andrew Garfield.

Unfortunately, the movie also happens to be painfully predictable and incredibly boring, and that is my main problem with this film.


The thing is that it failed to provide me with something I haven’t seen many times before. Brooklyn is, at heart, a romantic drama and nine times out of ten, they always end the same way, and in Brooklyn’s case it ends the same way you expect it to. I know a lot of people will argue that the movie can still charm you and the film definitely has a degree of comedy and lightheartedness, but it never really struck me as anything particularly enjoyable or interesting.
Brooklyn is by no means a bad film but it is quite mediocre and feels more like Oscar-bait movie than anything else.




12 responses to “Review: Brooklyn (2015)

  1. When I heard high praises for this I expected this to floor me. It didn’t live up to expectations, and despite Ronan’s performance, I had problems with her character. I found it difficult to empathize with her on certain points. Your review pretty much sums up the rest of my thoughts about the film. Good review!


  2. Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t like this more. I adored it, I think it’s a great little love story, and I felt like I could relate to Eilis.


  3. I really like this film and I think there is more going on underneath its sweet surface. I loved the internal struggle of a young woman who has allowed every life decision to be made for her. In a sense she is liberated when she goes to New York, but then she is faced with a situation that pulls her right back to where she was. All of that, on top of the charm and romance, really worked for me.


  4. I completely agree with you, and I’m glad your review was more honest than mine. I actually liked it, but I didn’t love it. It was beautiful, but engrossed in a pile of ‘meh’ predictability. That’s kind of how this year as a whole with movies has been for me :\


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