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Friday, November 13, 2015

Brooklyn

I'm going to make this one quick as I want a review up of it in time for the weekend but suffice to say, this is easily the best film of the week and, a couple of niggling flaws aside (hence the slightly conservative 8-star rating), one of the best films of the year.

I can't reveal exactly why I have some slight reservations about the film, as they all have to do with events - and one in particular - that take place just before and during the final act of the film but let's just say that had they done things very slightly differently in the later parts of the film, I would have no qualms whatsoever about giving this nine or even ten stars.

It's simply a beautiful film that is as soulful as it is immaculately crafted; as understated as it is moving. Brooklyn is a simple story of a young immigrant being caught not just between her old home and her new life, but between two very different but equally worthwhile men. This isn't Twilight, though, so those looking for melodramatic sweep should probably look elsewhere as this is far more interested in emotional honesty and quiet humanity than in complicated triangles. Hell, there isn't even a single antagonist to be found anywhere in the film.  

Even with its wonderfully witty and humane script by Nick Hornby (based on the acclaimed novel by Colm Toibin) and handsome direction by John Crowley, Brooklyn is very much Saoirse Ronan's film. This is the first film where she gets to fully immerse herself in her Irish background and make full use of her very thick Oirish accent, but more importantly it's probably her best performance yet. And considering how exceptional she is in damn near everything she has ever done, that's really saying something. She's backed by a top-notch cast, to be sure, but it's the way that she imbues her character with softness, strength and understated complexity that makes everything around her work as well as it does.      

Really, not much more needs to be said. It's a gorgeous little movie that, a few hiccups aside, stands tall as one of the very best of the year. Truly lovely, lovely stuff that I cannot recommend enough.


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