I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see John Crowley’s film “Brooklyn” (Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Colm Toibin’s best-selling novel). It’s the story of an educated, reliable and hard-working woman who journeys from post-war small-town Ireland to New York. It’s about leaving home+family and setting out into an unknown world; it’s about the initial home-sickness; it’s about getting on with life; it’s about gradually finding new-found optimism; and it’s about finding love.
I’ll say no more
to avoid *spoileralerts*.
Unusually, perhaps, it’s also a film which focuses on the
female point of view. Saoirse Ronan is simply wonderful as the main character,
Eilis (she reminded me why I love my half-Irish wife so much!)(as if I needed
reminding) and I thought the entire cast (including Jim Broadbent and Julie
Walters) was excellent - well-observed,
sensitive and, on occasions, very funny. Among the highlights for me were the
scenes from the Brooklyn boarding house (with Julie Walters as landlady) – with
the girls sitting around the dinner table (no boys!). All quite brilliantly
portrayed. I don’t want to say much more for fear of *spoilers*, but I also
thought Emory Cohen (as Tony) and Domhnail Gleeson (as Jim) were both perfect.
I also loved some of the female fashions… and, with the
film being set in the early 1950s, a couple of the outfits reminded me of my
mother Mary (when she “dressed up”!).
It could all have been pretty maudlin and dour (leaving
her mother+sister in Ireland, struggling on arrival in New York etc etc), but
it wasn’t at all. It was a humorous, uplifting, happy film.
I absolutely loved
this film… it was pretty perfect as far as I was concerned (but, hey, I am bit
of a softy at heart!).
PS: if you live in
Bristol, you’ve got until 19 November to see it at the Watershed… and I think
PPS: the ONLY
slight downside to the afternoon was that it was shown in the Watershed’s
rather small Cinema2 (with seating for perhaps 80?) – which has an aisle on one
side only… tickets were completely sold out in advance and so, almost
inevitably, it was a case of latecomers battling to find the only remaining
seats in the dark (which were, of
course, at the very end of the non-aisle rows… with all the disruption that
3 weeks ago