“A good movie doesn’t have to go wham-bam-kaboom and make audiences go ‘holy shit!…what just happened?’ to earn a seat at the Best Picture table, and this is one such occasion. There’s a time and a place for every kind of film, and thank God an effort like Brooklyn has come along — a fine little reminder of the pleasures of emotional simplicity served up in a low-key, no-bull fashion. Cutting-edge cognoscenti might be looking for something flashier or jizzier but people who know from quality will warm to Brooklyn‘s timelessness. A Best Picture nomination seem assured, as I noted last month.
“And there can be no doubt that Saoirse Ronan‘s performance as Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant torn between two nice-guy suitors, is solemn and understated and quietly mesmerizing, and therefore a near-lock for a Best Actress nomination. Ditto John Crowley for Best Director and Nick Hornby for Best Adapted Screenplay. Yves Belanger‘s elegant cinematography also warrants a nom.
“Brooklyn is a gentle, perfectly judged, profoundly stirring romantic classic — not just set in the early ’50s but shot, timed, cut and performed in a way that approximates the aesthetic standards of that era. It’s an amber time-capsule movie with a pulse and what feels to me like a real Irish heartbeat, and a feeling of things blooming and beginning and modest people trying to do the right thing.
“Brooklyn could have been released in ’52 alongside High Noon, Singin’ In The Rain and The Bad and the Beautiful and audiences would have nodded and applauded and said the same things people are saying now — ‘This is a film I could take my mother to, but it’s good enough to satisfy the toughest, most cynical critics…a rooted love story, a film about decent and believable folk as well as tradition, discretion, real love and 1950s Brooklyn family values.'” — from my 9.17 review called “Back to Brooklyn.”