Saoirse Ronan has the most entrancing eyes. They’re blue, then gray, then green, then blue again, and they have the ability to express the actress’ fears, excitements, loves, sadnesses. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Saoirse Ronan and her mystical eyes are the reason to see “Brooklyn.” She’s terrific as the naive, earnest Irish lass who comes to America in the ’50s – to Brooklyn, a melting pot of many immigrants, especially the Irish – and learns about herself and a very different world from the one where she was raised. Nominated for an Oscar several years ago as the eerie little girl in “Atonement,” Ronan will probably get another nom for this film.
A period piece based on the novel by Colm Toibin and adapted by Nick Hornby, “Brooklyn” is basically a lusciously shot girl-meets-boy story. Ronan’s character falls in love with an Italian boy, and they get married secretly – just as she’s called back to Ireland after the sudden death of her sister. There she reconnects with an Irish man who represents the perfect catch, and he wants a future with her. Does she tell him she’s already married? Which man will she choose? Does she return to Brooklyn or stay in her small town?
That’s the plot in a nutshell. There isn’t much story. Not a lot happens, and I found my mind wandering at times. But the film is pleasing – tidy, pretty and not very taxing.
One last thing. I saw the trailer so often in theaters and on TV that I felt as if I’d already seen the movie once I did see it. Memo to studios: Don’t tell the audience everything in advance!