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Brooklyn

From the opening moments of Eilis Lacey (Saiorse Ronan) stepping into the street of a quiet Irish village, Brooklyn establishes its conceit of subtlety and restraint. Despite being a story of great upheaval and massive change, director John Crowley never strays into melodrama or histrionics. Screenwriter Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel about immigration to New York in the 1950s is told with a steady hand, allowing the viewer to witness the trials and tribulations of this every person journey. And the easiest part of the journey is the sea crossing, despite food poisoning and restricted toilet access, in a film that is not afraid of broad humour any more than it is of taking its time. Eilis’ experience is one likely to chime with anyone who has spent extended periods away from home, and for those who have changed where they call home. Weaving its delicate yet compelling route through issues of family, community, friendship, career and love, Brooklyn is a beautifully crafted and moving portrayal of personal change.

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