3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Quality period drama, period!

It may be called Brooklyn, but it’ll have you thinking in an Irish accent by the end of it. This cosy, emotion-driven piece is a breath of fresh air.

This is the story of Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), an Irish girl who leaves her homeland to improve her prospects and start a new life in Brooklyn, New York. Setting in proves difficult at first, but just as she starts to make roots in her new home unforseen circumstances bring her back to Ireland. She is then forced to choose between her new life in America and her old life back home.

The acting here is superb. Lead actress Saoirse Ronan has been nominated for a Golden Globe in this role and it’s clear to see why. Julie Walters has a small role as the boarding house landlady where Eilis is staying, and adds her typical quirky sense of humour to proceedings. Domhnall Gleeson is perfect as Jim Farrell, the most eligible of bachelors back in Ireland who has eyes for Eilis. For those who have seen him as General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s remarkable what a versatile actor he is.

The only thing I would say that is lacking here is that I did lose some respect for the main character, as a great deal of her suffering in the last part of the film is self-inflicted. Although this does lend itself to the realism of her character (no one is perfect, of course); it did lose her some sympathy votes from me, and therefore there was a certain measure of love lost for the film as a whole. Reminiscent of my reasons of disdain for the main characters in Amélie and Into The Wild, although not to the same extent. For those few out there who didn’t like those films for the same reason, you’ll know what I mean.

Brooklyn premieres in Sweden on February 26, 2016.

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