Strarring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Zegen, Julie Walters
Director: John Crowley
Running Time: 112mins
UK Certificate: 12A
Colm Toibin’s novel about an Irish girl finding her feet in New York has been much admired, but I found it a little underpowered. Nick Hornby’s adaptation suffers from similar problems, namely that not an awful lot happens, and when it does it’s so understated as to be almost invisible.
One thing that is undeniable is Ronan’s performance as Eilis Lacey; a sweet, honest, nice girl who has to suddenly cope with being the breadwinner of her family. Ronan is not the town’s glamour puss, or even pretty, but her puffy face, with piercing, honest eyes, is a wonder to behold. She is always sympathetic, completely real and without her the film would be even more paper thin. Eilis lives in a stifling, suffocating Irish town in the 1950s, where buying shoe polish on a Sunday is seen as an evil sin. All the boys look the same, with their oiled hair and rugby blazers, so it is a relief when she is picked as the member of the family to go to Brooklyn to find a new life. [Read more…]