katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of Brooklyn + Ladies Night Out (CIFF 2015)

Posted on Friday, October 02, 2015 at 06:00 PM

KO Review of Brooklyn + Ladies Night Out (CIFF 2015)

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

ATB Financial hosted Ladies Night Out at Holt Renfrew for Calgary International Film Festival on Wednesday night. It was an opportunity to have a glass of champagne (or kombucha-whose ever idea that was-you are brilliant!), get pampered and support the youth-by-youth cinema. Following the Ladies Night Out event at Holts was the screening of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is about a young woman named Eilis (played by Saoirse Ronan) in a small town in Ireland in the 1950’s whose sister arranges with a priest named Father Flood (played by Jim Broadbent) to help her sister emmigrate to New York. Eilis’ sister Georgina (played by Eva Birthistle) wants to provide her sister a better future because of the unstable economy in Ireland. Eilis sets sail for America and learns a few hard lessons along the way when she suffers from seasickness and gets locked out of her bathroom. After moving into a boarding house with other Irish immigrants Eilis starts working at a luxury department store called Bertucci’s. Eilis struggles to belong and feel comfortable in her Brooklyn neighbourhood and rarely leaves her boarding house in the evenings.

One evening, the mistress of her boarding house Mrs. Kehoe (played by Julie Walters) asks Eilis to accompany the new girl in their home, Delores (played by Jenn Murray), to a local dance. Eilis agrees to take Dolores but feels uncomfortable the entire time. Eventually a young gentleman who had been eyeing Eilis the whole time, asks her to dance. Eilis agrees to dance with Tony (played by Emory Cohen). She explains to him that she wants to leave the dance and have her walk him home because she wants to get away from Delores. Tony is elated to leave with Eilis and is on cloud 9 the entire walk to her boarding house. Before he bids her farewell, he asks to take her out for dinner some other time. Eilis agrees and in the following scene, they are having dinner.

Eilis and Tony hit it off and start seeing each other regularly. After work, Eilis attends a night book keeping class at the Brooklyn community college and Tony is there everytime class lets out to walk her home. Tony is a classic gentleman. There is an adorable dinner with Tony’s family where they first meet Eilis. Tony warns Eilis about his cheeky little brother who goes on to tell her his family doesn’t like Irish people. This scene was very enjoyable in an otherwise dramatic and emotionally intense film.

Tragedy strikes Rose, Eilis’ sister and here comes the plot twist… Eilis needs to go back to Ireland to see her mother. Tony becomes so fearful of losing Eilis he begs for her hand in marriage. She agrees and the have a quick civil marriage before she departs home to Ireland.

Upon her return to Ireland Eilis connects with her best friend Nancy (played by Eileen O’Higgins) who is engaged and invite Eilis out on an unknown blind-date with her fiance and his friend from Rugby Jim Farell (played by Domhnall Gleeson). The plot now thickens when Jim and Eilis connect and end up spending numerous days together under the sun with their friends. Eilis’s mom seems very please with Eilis’ relationship with Jim (unknowing that she is married to Tony back in Brooklyn) and encourages her to start helping out as a bookkeeper at the show Rose her sister was working at before she passed away. Everything seems so meant-to-me in Ireland and Tony seems like the furthest thing from Eilis’ mind. You will have to see the film to know who she ends up with…

Brooklyn was full of fantastic actors. Saoirse Ronan in particular has the type of faces (and eyes especially) that suck you in as a viewer and captivate you the whole way through. I don’t recall ever seeing her act in any other movies I have seen before, but having done my research now I see she was in The Lovely Bones and The Grand Budapest Hotel, neither of which roles I found her as enthralling. Brooklyn had a certain crispness and color to the film and intensified all the blues and greys. The overall aesthetic of this film was gorgeous. There were lots of tears in the audience, and generally considering most everyone in North America is an immigrant in some parts of their history, it was easy to empathize with Eilis’ story. Most people came her for an opportunity for a new life and that is what the story of Brooklyn recovers from the past.

Brooklyn has an encore screening during CIFF 2015 on Saturday, October 3, 2015 @ 9:45 PM at Eau Claire Market Cinemas.

Calgary Local Scene Event Listing: Calgary International Film Festival 2015 >
CalgaryMovies.com's CIFF 2015 Coverage >

Photos above all courtesy of Foxsearchlight Entertainment


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.