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Brooklyn Makes You Homesick for Old Hollywood

We all remember a time in our life when we were homesick. The first day of summer camp or when visiting a distant relative, we’ve all lain in bed at one time or another wishing we were back at home in our own bed. I saw the movie Brooklyn this past weekend and it made me homesick for old Hollywood. You know the movies that you see on Turner Classic Movies (TCM)? When I left the theatre after seeing this movie, I realized how much I missed the films of yesteryear. This historical period piece was directed by John Crowley, written by Colm Tóibin and starred an unknown (to me) actress by the name of Saoirse Ronan. The movie was produced by Wildgaze Films and distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and is rated PG-13.

Homesickness Personified

The character, Eilis (pronounced Ay-lish) is a young Irish woman who gets an opportunity to move to America and begin a life working in a department store. She leaves her family behind in Ireland, travels by ship to America and moves into a boarding house in Brooklyn, New York. The friendships within the tenement are difficult, but she soon meets a young, Italian man who helps her forget how homesick she is for family in Ireland.



Actors’ Roles

The family of actors in this film reminded me of the days when actors were truly the star of the show. This was the first movie in which I’ve seen Saoirse Ronan, but I am hopeful that it won’t be the last. She did a beautiful job and was very convincing in portraying what it must have been like for immigrants coming here alone to work in this country. Her natural Irish beauty coupled with her love of country and family was in direct conflict with the desire to be a successful young woman in a strange city. It honestly left you unable to take your eyes off of the screen.

Ronan’s co-star, Emory Cohen was a sweetheart of a character that had you longing for the next scene when you could see him smile into her eyes. Years ago, in the movie Cocktail, it was said that Hollywood had finally realized how important it was to have Tom Cruise smile toward the camera. I hope it wasn’t an accident to have Cohen smiling in this one. It was a breath of fresh air to love an actor based on the goodness of the character he was playing. He was a good, Italian-American boy who loved baseball and one woman.

Jessica Paré, who played Megan Draper in “Mad Men” did a lovely job in her role of Eilis’ icy boss in the Brooklyn department store. However, she could be in danger of being typecast. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie was the contradiction within her part. If she isn’t careful, Miss Paré could end up playing parts where she comes across as a stuffy, cold woman who doesn’t play nice with other women. Early in the movie she portrays a strict, business-by-the-book superior who then reaches out to her employee in a way that helps save her job. It came across in the movie like an effort to show two sides of Miss Paré, instead of a contradiction within the character herself.

I read about the movie, Brooklyn, on Heart for Dixie. Great movie! A must-see! #Brooklyn #movie #homesickness Click To Tweet

The name of my other blog is CoziNest with a tagline of Simple. Cozy. Beautiful. Home. This could have been the tagline for this movie. It has a simple storyline with cozy, comfortable relationships between all actors. The film is filled with beautiful people, has a splendid score and cinematography as a bonus. And to borrow two of the lines in the movie, “Home is home,” and “Homesickness is like any other sickness. You eventually get over it.” I give this movie 4.5 stars and if Hollywood would make more like it, we would all get over our homesickness and see more movies.


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Kim Burdette

Kim Burdette


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    February 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Looking forward to seeing it. I am, of course, a fan of old movies and there are some I could watch over and over (and do if the opportunity arises). Thanks for this.

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