Brooklyn: Movie Review

Aww Mitchell, he got off lightly this time. I really wanted to watch the movie with him, but he had to go to work. It was actually my fault, I booked the tickets before checking his timetable. I don’t know why I thought he had the night off. When I told him I would take our daughter Rachael, he actually laughed. Not just any laugh, it was the kind you make when you just had a close call “damn <laugh> well that’s ok, you will still be able to go without me”. <releases deep breath and wipes forehead> Yeh Mitch….thanks 😉

So Rachel and I went, and we had a great time. Take that Mitchell 🙂 Truthfully, he probably would have fallen asleep. Nicholas Sparks latest movie The Choice was his limit. It had more drama, more ‘sexy’ scenes, Brooklyn just wouldn’t have piqued his interest. Saying that, I still thought it was great…really great.

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As I wrote in a previous article, my mum came from Ireland, Belfast actually. Life was difficult for her family in the late 1960’s with fighting between the Catholics and Protestants as well as the English Army and the IRA at its worst. It was no life for a young woman, it was no life for anyone. My mums older sisters had already left Ireland. Her sister Molly had moved to Australia and her sister Eilish had moved to Canada. Mums older brother John had also left, starting a new life in England. When my mum turned 21, she had a few choices to make. Did she continue living in the tight-knit community, working at the local mill, or did she follow in the footsteps of her older siblings and venture out into the big world?

Like my mum, Eilish left Ireland looking for a better life, for more opportunities. In the movie, Eilish boards a boat headed for America. While enduring a rocky voyage, she meets another young woman who has made the trip a few times herself. The pair strike up a friendship, and during the crossing, Eilish is given a few tips to help her settle into her new country.

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Rachael and I (JulieAnn)

When Eilish arrives in Brooklyn, she meets Father Flood (played by Jim Broadbent) the catholic priest responsible for helping Eilish move to America. He has arranged a place for her to stay, a boarding house that is also occupied with other young Irish women. He has also organised a job for her as a sales assistant at the local department store. Like my mum, Eilish has a difficult time adjusting to her new life. She misses her family and friends back home and is unsure whether the move was wise.

Eilish gradually begins to enjoy her new life. She gets to know those she is boarding with, learns to cook and is encouraged to join her friends at the local dance hall. But when she meets Tony, the local plumber who comes from a large Italian family, Eilish life really begins to blossom. Tony is just adorable. He is patient, kind and supports Eilish in her choices to better herself. He is such a gentleman, it reminds you so much of how times have changed. He waits for her to finish her night classes so he can walk her home. He even opens the door for her. I know its bad to say that these days – women have fought to have equal rights..blah, blah, blah…but how can you not love Tony’s character?!!

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Eilish Lacey played by Saoirse Ronan

Eilish new life in Brooklyn is proceeding nicely, that is until a family tragedy forces her back home to Ireland. I was taken back to my own life at this point in the movie. I remember being very young, it was late at night and I could hear my mum crying in the kitchen. I snuck through the dining room and hid next to the fridge. I could hear my dad comforting my mum, telling her things like “It will be ok”…”I love you Ursula, everything will be alright”. I don’t remember much more that night, but I do remember the next day when my mum and dad told my brothers, sister and I that our grand mother had passed away. Like Eilish, my mum returned home for a few weeks.

In the movie Brooklyn, When Eilish is back home in Ireland, she soon gets caught up in her old life. Her childhood friend wants her to stay home longer, for her wedding. Her mother wants her to put her new book-keeping skills to use helping a local transport company who needs help with their business accounts. While trying to keep everyone happy, she happens to attract the attention of the local barman, Jim Farrell (played by Domhnall Gleeson). Before long Eilish finds her loyalties tested. Does she stay home in Ireland, or does she return to Tony and her friends, to the life she had always wanted in Brooklyn.

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Eilish and Tony played by Emory Cohen

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I thought the story of Eilish was very honest. You really felt connected to her plight. If I had to rate it, I would give it an 8 out of 10. If you are unsure, watch the trailer. But I will say this, it was a beautiful romantic story, one I would highly recommend.

Oh and in case you were wondering …my mammy 🙂 she went home to Ireland, she has been home a few times and she has always come back. She fell in love and married a german (my dad) and had 4 fantastic children. My mum had her own Irish Shop for many years, giving advice to others who have settled here in Australia and helping them search their family history. My mum and dad are still together living in North East Victoria. They now have 6 grandchildren that keep them very busy, and 4 children who love them dearly.

x x x

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