From Fe­bru­ary 29 / Cert. 12

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW -

Fairy Tale of new york

A sort of anti-The God­fa­ther, Brooklyn sees a young im­mi­grant ar­rive in america and, rather than form a deadly crime syn­di­cate, go on to be thor­oughly pleas­ant to ev­ery­body she en­coun­ters. on pa­per, it sounds like a yawn: a drama pop­u­lated by well-man­nered peo­ple, with lit­tle in the way of in­ci­dent. on screen, though, it’s de­light­ful, so much so that this $10 mil­lion Lit­tle film that Could has ended up a con­tender for the Best Pic­ture os­car.

Di­rec­tor John Crowley, who also shot the fi­nale of True De­tec­tive sea­son 2, does nifty work with his lim­ited bud­get: a sea storm is sim­u­lated with only close shots and a lurch­ing cam­era. But most plau­dits have to go to writer nick Hornby, trim­ming Colm tóibín’s novel down with a sculp­tor’s sen­si­tiv­ity, and star saoirise ro­nan, mes­meris­ing as good-hearted hero­ine Eilis Lacey.

it’s a sim­ple com­ing-of-age tale, set in a city that’s com­ing of age it­self. (in a lovely touch, new York blos­soms into spring at the same time as Eilis starts to find her feet.) Her dilemma is a tough one, how to choose be­tween two good men on dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents: goofy ital­ian émi­gré tony (Emory Co­hen) or wealthy En­nis­cor­thy bach­e­lor Jim (Domh­nall Glee­son)? a mil­lion miles away from those crummy rom­coms where Katherine Heigl has to learn to dump her dick­head boyfriend and get with the hunky hero, the story un­folds qui­etly, with el­e­gance and em­pa­thy. as in life, some­times, there are no easy an­swers: what­ever she does, some­body gets hurt. though at least here, no horse loses its head. NICK De Semlyen

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