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Rated PG-13 · 105 min. · 2015

Drama, Romance

Irish director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby capture the melancholy and nostalgia of Colm Tóibín’s novel in the kind of elegiac old-school melodrama that is seldom made anymore. Saoirse Ronan is Eilis, an Irish girl who goes to work in Brooklyn in the 1950s, thanks to the sponsorship of a U.S.-based priest (Jim Broadbent). Leaving behind a mother and sister she adores, she’s initially homesick, living in an all-female boarding house. That changes when she meets a sweet-natured Italian plumber who immediately falls for her good-girl ways. This is a colorful, confident portrait of the American Dream, with Eilis serving as a walking beacon of hope and optimism. Striking work by cinematographer Yves Bélanger and costumer Odile Dicks-Mireaux makes Ronan—with her moony, wholesome looks—the brightest thing in the movie. Things get complicated when she starts seeing a suave Irishman (Domhnall Gleeson), turning the story into an intercontinental torn-between-two-lovers affair and making Eilis wonder if heading back to the States is really a good idea. Like so many prior films about immigrants looking for a better life, this one lays out a wondrous, overwhelming and romantic (if oddly minority-free) vision of America’s past—the same vision that brought people here in the first place.

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Director: John Crowley
Writer: Nick Hornby
Producer: Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters




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