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The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Brooklyn Film Review

Although maybe not the most memorable movie for a 10 year old–which is when I first watched “Brooklyn,” directed by John Crowley with cinematography by Yves Bélanger–this was a good Valentine’s Day rewatch now at age 20 because I could relate more to the film and its themes. 


“Brooklyn” follows Eilis’ (played by Saoirse Ronan) journey and experience as an Irish immigrant. She originally goes to America for a job opportunity, and then falls in love with Tony (played by Emory Cohen). Eilis plans to stay in America until her sister unexpectedly passes away. Her heart is torn between two countries and she must make a decision. 


Many of the lines are beautifully quotable, such as “So, the next time you tell me you love me, if there is a next time, I’ll say I love you too,” the film’s appropriately chosen tagline. 


Mislabeled as a thriller online, Brooklyn is definitely a romance film. This mistake worked to my advantage when convincing my boyfriend to watch on Valentine’s Day. I was looking forward to watching it because Ronan is one of my favorite actresses. Micheal Zegan, who played Joel Maisel in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” has a small role, which I was also excited to see. 


Not to mention, even though the film is called “Brooklyn,” and takes place mainly in Brooklyn, it opens in Ireland, which is one of my favorite countries for its beautiful landscape, which is included in the film. 


The overall color pallet of the film is filled with natural, grassy greens, deep browns and stunning blues. 


Upon rewatching “Brooklyn,” I was hesitant about the characterization and stereotypes conveyed by Eilis and Tony, but I understand the point. This historical romance film highlights the difficulties faced by immigrants and how those difficulties and differences brought Eilis and Tony together while she navigates hardship, death, and love. 


Not only is the setting beautiful, but the 1950s costuming is aesthetically pleasing too. It was interesting to see Eilis’ style change throughout the film, which was made clear when she went back to Ireland. 


Eilis’ baby blue and light pink dresses when back in Ireland looked like they are straight out of a retro magazine and her “modern” one piece bathing suit is something I would consider wearing today. Also, her cat-eye sunglasses are adorable and still trendy today. 


My favorite scenes are the two that take place on the boat. In the first scene, Eilis is on her way to America and is talking to another Irish woman who has been living in America. The woman is knowledgeable and gives Eilis advance. Later on when Eilis is returning to America after her short visit to Ireland, the roles are revised. Eilis is now the knowledgeable Irish-American giving another new immigrant woman advice on the boat. I found this scene parallel interesting and impactful in convey’s Eilis’ character development. 


My favorite parts of the film, besides the plot, are the lovely Irish countryside setting and the costuming.

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