Brooklyn—1 hr 52 mins/ rated PG-13/Director: John Crowley/ written by Nick Hornby, based on Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name/starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson
Bifocal Reviews written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(BR): How refreshing! This is a movie that we can all go and see without it being an animated cartoon. I guess, because of my age and generation, I’ve heard many similar stories about my own ancestors and relatives of family and friends coming to America. As a New Jersey born, second-generation Italian-American, I heard many tales about people coming through New York on their way to a new life…specifically, Ellis Island. That type of nostalgia is very appealing to me. How brave a person must be to leave their loved ones, their native country and venture into a whole new realm, overflowing with opportunities and newness. Just for a moment, picture yourself leaving whatever you possess, right now, that is familiar, comfortable and loved, to strike out into the unknown. This kind of cultural adventure is simply staggering to me. Yet, people did this all the time, in even greater numbers than they do today, perhaps. With that as the backstory, BROOKLYN had some very convincing performances. I loved seeing the innocence of that time portrayed with pitch-perfect emotion. A seemingly simple scene turned poignant, was when, for example the main character has to buy a bathing suit, and then reveal herself on the beach for the first time. It may not seem like much here, but it was the kind of detail that made the movie enjoyable for me. I give this film three-and-a-half binoculars.
(OG): This was a sweet little story. There were no car crashes, no fight scenes, no deaths of unusual circumstance, and most of all no male character overshadowing the women in the film or hogging screen time. This was not a suspense thriller and the main character didn’t resort to unsavory methods of survival. This was a slice of life, the good old-fashion life that everyone keeps harping about these days, a slice of immigration life, the kind that built our country into the great nation that it is. Another interesting thing for me, when you strip away all the violence, fluff and rancor that has become so commonplace in today’s storytelling--that many now believe that blood or sex equals a plot or storyline-- you have a sweet little story about an Irish girl—a Catholic girl who meets a nice Italian boy, neither of which wants to jump into bed at their first meeting--who comes to America on a boat (like so many of our ancestors) and finds not only love, but self worth. I like that; I give Brooklyn four binoculars, one for the story and three for a wonderfully reserved acting job by Ronan.