Homesickness is like most sicknesses. It will pass.
In Brooklyn, Saoirse Ronan plays a young Irish girl who finds herself torn between her homeland of Ireland and the new life she’s building for herself in America. And the film revolves around Ronan’s astoundingly great performance. Ronan is an actress that a lot of people have loved for a long time, but I’ve always been lukewarm on her; she’s seemed fine without being particularly remarkable. But this performance, even if she never gives another one even half as good, is enough to put her right in the canon in my opinion. She just finds a real honesty and truth that never for a second seems less than absolutely real. The script by Nick Hornby is simple in its storytelling, but the plot is archetypal for a reason; the feeling of being caught in an intractable choice between two options is one that humans understand instinctively down to their bones, so these stories continue to engage us, when they’re as well and gracefully told as this one. The supporting cast is very good, particularly the women who play the fellow lodgers at the boarding house; the dinner scenes are always a distinct pleasure. Crowley captures the period feeling to perfection and the lush beauty of Ireland as well. It’s a pure pleasure to watch really, the kind of simple character-based drama that people are continually saying “they don’t make anymore.” So, sometimes they do; and Brooklyn is great enough that you’ll wish they did it more often. 4 stars.
tl;dr – Saoirse Ronan’s career best performance is a thing of beauty and brilliance; the film builds a compelling world around her and crafts a simple, but extremely effective, drama. 4 stars.