January 23, 2016

Brooklyn


Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015). What is happening with Domhnall Gleeson? He seems to age about five years between films, even though I’ve seen him in four these past six months (Ex Machina, Star Wars, The Revenant, Brooklyn). At this rate, he’ll be playing his dad in two years. He’s very good in Brooklyn, a tasteful, slightly cautious and reserved drama about independence and home adapted from a small but emotionally powerful novel by Colm Toibin. The star is Saoirse Ronan as Eilis, guided through her immigrant experience by benign mentors. It’s a sunny picture darkened only during a Christmas scene early in the film, when elderly Irish men in New York gather for a dinner that the church – here, only ever a benevolent institution – puts on.  These are the men that built the tunnels and bridges, here 50 years but still homesick.