Brooklyn (John Crowley) 2015 **** 12/11/2016

Brooklyn’s a great immigrant story about Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), who emigrates from Ireland to the titular land.  She misses her sister Rose desperately, and her mother, as she adjusts to living in a boarding house taking meals with her landlady (a charmingly funny Julie Walters) and the group of girls and working at a department store while learning book-keeping three nights a week at Brooklyn College.  Then she meets Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen), and they fall in love, their two accents blending together perfectly.  But Rose dies back in Ireland suddenly and it’s not clear whether it’s suicide or suicide in the face of a disease.  Saoirse is one of the great criers onscreen and these scenes are touching and sad without being mawkish or over-dramatic.  Eilis visits her grieving mother back home, where everyone tries to get her to stay, from her understandably alone mother to her best friend who sets her up with Jim (Domnhall Gleeson).  And for a moment, maybe more, she finds herself falling in love with Jim, until a confrontation with her witch of an old boss reminds her of why she left that town.  She heads back to Brooklyn no longer lonely, and with a self-assurance she could only have there.

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