Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn is adapted to cinema in the historical drama film of the same title. Brooklyn follows the coming-of-age story of a young woman Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), from a small town in Ireland where opportunities are scarce. As part of a boom in Irish migration to the United States in the early 1950s, Eilis journeys across the ocean to Brooklyn in New York in search of a stable job and better life.
In Brooklyn, Eilis learns to adapt to a different culture, a retail job, shared housing, and the buzz of the city. She meets local Italian-American Tony (Emory Cohen) and begins to appreciate her new life. When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, Eilis is welcomed by her hometown but becomes torn between two countries and the prospects of two very different futures.
While Eilis’ story is set several decades ago, many aspects of her immigrant experience are still relevant today. Saoirse Ronan’s authentic performance, well-casted supporting roles, coupled with an elegant music score, truly enhances the moving storyline. The film’s screenplay and direction beautifully captures the essence of the novel, which has been ranked by The Guardian as one of the top 100 best books of the 21st century.
Brooklyn is available to watch on the Kanopy streaming service for free with your Greater Dandenong Libraries membership. Join Kanopy for free.