Actors: Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Hugh Gormley
Director: John Crowley
Language: English (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region A/1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20TH CENTURY FOX
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Run Time: 105 minutes
I love films in the romance genre, though it often takes a willingness to forgive the predictable contrivances of the genre. Often the goal only appears to be satiating the audience’s desired outcome, which leads to cheesy and unbelievable results involving beautiful actors, manipulated emotions through sentimental soundtracks. Rarely is there a romance film containing characters resembling real people, with actual choices to make and difficult outcomes because of these choices.
is one of these rare films, demanding more from its audience while also paying
off with far more intelligent rewards due to the excellence in filmmaking. In
other words, Brooklyn
doesn’t sacrifice logic and character development for the sake of its romantic
moments, and this makes them feel earned.
Based on the best-selling novel by Colm Tóibín,
Brooklyn was expertly adapted by Nick
Hornby (An Education, Wild), a novelist once known for
presenting a humorous male perspective (Fever
Pitch, High Fidelity, About a Boy) that has inexplicably
switched to the female perspective and screenplay adaptations in recent years.
This mostly unsentimental examination of love and immigration is thoughtful
where most romances are emotional, subdued where it could easily have slipped
into melodramatic. Paired with perfect casting, expert direction and a classic
old school Hollywood cinematography, Hornby’s
screenplay elevates a simple story into something special.
When the idea for this film adaptation first arose, Saoirse Ronan was too young to play the part, but a long journey into production allowed her time to age. This is extremely significant, as the role of Eilis Lacey is crucial to every aspect of the film’s success. Having received 51 award nominations for her performance, it seems that Ronan was indeed worth the wait, but the casting of each supporting role in the film is just as expertly handled by Fiona Weir.
Brooklyn is yet another
example why casting directors deserve a place amongst the award accommodations.
The film follows Eilis’ journey from her home in
to Brooklyn in the 1950s in search of work and
opportunity. While she first struggles to adjust to the new lifestyle, her
drastically changes when she meets a young Italian man named Tony (Emory Cohen)
at an Irish dance. This relationship develops until Eilis takes a sudden trip
back home to America .
It is intended to be temporary, and she promises to return to Tony, but new
relationships and opportunities in Ireland make this decision more
difficult. Eilis must find a way to choose her home from the new life she has
made for herself in Ireland
or the familiar one in her home country. America
The Blu-ray release comes with a Digital HD copy of the film, as well as a handful of special features. The extras are primarily packed with promotional featurettes, no doubt created in the effort to promote the film during award season. Thankfully, however, there is also a director’s commentary featuring John Crowley, who also provides optional commentary over a handful of deleted and extended scenes included. A production gallery is also included.
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 9/10
Historical Significance: 8.5/10