by Erica Rabito
Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley and starring Irish-American Saoirse Ronan, tells a story familiar to many generations of Americans: A foreigner leaves her home behind to move to America in search of a better life. The plot of the movie, based on the novel of the same name by author Colm Tóibín, seems just as familiar, and is therefore just as predictable.
In Brooklyn, however, the bulk of the film’s action has already played out, and the rest of the film focuses on the normal everyday occurrences in the life of a normal young immigrant. Every day is nearly identical — Eilis goes to work, eats dinner with the other girls staying in her boarding house, goes to dances at night, goes on dates with a nice guy and struggles with overwhelming homesickness.
While Brooklyn tells a tale familiar to much of the American audience through similar stories from grandparents and relatives, actually being able to watch a young woman struggle with the realities of attempting to change her life for the better demonstrates to current Americans the difficulties their ancestors went through to provide them with the lives they currently lead.
Ronan’s emotional portrayal of this conflicted and lonely young woman is sure to win the hearts of viewers, and may win Brooklyn an Oscar for best picture.