Thursday, November 12, 2015


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 you should!
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 that entailed!).  

No comments: