The movie adaptation of Colm Toibin’s novel, Brooklyn, is so good it is inevitable to think the book must be good as well.
With shining talent John Crowley directed and Nick Hornby scripted this absorbing love story about a newly emigrated Irish girl, now in Brooklyn, and an Italian-American young man living in the 1950s. The film is a vehicle for Saoirse Ronan, who is perfect as the Irish girl, the not-very-demonstrative but not unassertive Eilis. Among other things, it concerns the making of big decisions when Experience has not been big, as witness Eilis’s getting married to Tony, the young man in Brooklyn, when she is still youthfully naive.
Also, it concerns the magnetic attraction of one’s home country—to an immigrant—when life in that country becomes satisfactory. It is an attraction from which Eilis must break away.
Ronan is touching, as is the movie—which loves its characters. Such actors as Julie Waters, Emory Cohen and Jim Broadbent (who plays a priest) are beautifully natural. Brooklyn is not quite faultless, but I refuse to quibble and find it a sure thing: an acclaimed novel is now a rightly acclaimed film.