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Brooklyn: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Brooklyn has some of the greatest moments put on film in recent years, but it also has one of the most disappointing moments. The movie is about a pious female Irish Catholic immigrant who comes to New York City in the 1950s, but must decide whether to return there when a tragedy forces her to return to Ireland for a month to comfort her distraught mother. Brooklyn has some of the funniest, most winsome, most religious, and most emotionally powerful moments ever put on film, but it is spoiled by a gratuitous bedroom scene in the middle, plus several strong obscenities.

The movie opens about four years after the father of Irish lass, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), a low-paid clerk in a market run by a stingy, unfriendly older lady, died in 1947. Eilis has no prospects at a better life, and not much in the way of young men to marry. So, the local priest helps Eilis obtain a work visa, a job and an Irish boarding house for Brooklyn, New York. With great sadness, her mother and sister, Rose, who works as a bookkeeper, say goodbye to Eilis as she sets sail for New York City (For more of the storyline, including spoilers, go to

All the actors in Brooklyn do a wonderful job. In fact, Brooklyn has one of the best ensemble casts ever assembled. It may remind classic movie fans of the best casts assembled by American and British filmmakers during the studio system era of movie making in those two countries. Even Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak on CW's smash TV hit, Arrow, unexpectedly shows up to do a nice turn.

Besides Ronan, however, special kudos go to Emory Cohen as Tony and veteran actors Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent as Mrs. Kehoe and Father Flood. These four should get noticed during awards season if there's any justice in this world at all. So should Director John Crowley and Writer Nick Hornby, the acclaimed novelist who does a great job adapting the prize-winning novel by Colm Tóibín on which Brooklyn is based.

All in all, therefore, Brooklyn is still a four-star movie with a strong moral worldview. It not only depicts a positive view of America and New York City, but also has two very strong Christian characters in Mrs. Kehoe and Father Flood who display intelligence, wit, compassion, strength, and faith. Christian filmmakers making faith-based movies would do well to study the scenes involving Mrs. Kehoe and Father Flood. This is how it's done, people!

That said, the sex scene in the middle of Brooklyn and the several strong obscenities that pop up during the movie warrant extreme caution. This is really too bad, because, otherwise, Brooklyn is a truly great movie.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become