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SAOIRSE RONAN IN BROOKLYN

year: 2015 cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Domnhall Gleeson
Ever see a movie or read a story that sets up a young female character on her own, and when she falls completely and hopelessly in love, you wish she had more pain and less... contentment? That happens in BROOKLYN after we begin with Saoirse Ronan's Ellis in her native Ireland, where life seems lovely enough, but she decides to travel to America. BROOKLYN to be exact.

Saoirse Ronan
Much of the film actually takes place at a dinner table where feisty yet lovable God-fearing patriarch Mrs. Kehoe, played by the always-entertaining Julie Walters, steals scenes that are her's to own. She runs a boarding house for girls either quieter or more rowdy than Ellis, who remains the perfect middle-ground. While there's potential for great characterization within these eclectic young ladies, stuck in the city and looking for a man, when our heroine finds her true love in Emory Cohen's handsome young Italian plumber Tony, things get so breezy and perfect, the film could have taken place anywhere. All the urban, time-period significance is gone.

Once Ellis returns home to Ireland, meeting who would be the perfect guy, the artful nuance and gorgeous exterior is revitalized. The chemistry between Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson, as a young man with his future mapped out, has an easygoing "foreign film" vibe that takes its time and doesn't flow in forced romantic cliches, like, for example, in BROOKLYN, where, despite a genuinely apt performance by Ronan as a fish out of water, the overall story doesn't involve enough suspense for her ultimate decision to really matter.

RATING: **1/2
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