In 1950s Ireland, the forward-thinking Rose (Fiona Glascott) has arranged for her younger sister Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) to go to Brooklyn out of necessity — Eilis can’t find a decent job, and there are few other prospects for her in Ireland. In New York, Eilis settles into a new life, living in a boardinghouse teeming with other, brasher young Irish women. She’s introverted and homesick, weeping over her sister’s letters — until she meets Tony (an adorable Emory Cohen), an Italian-American plumber who’s sweet on Irish girls and loves the Brooklyn Dodgers. Such a conventional plot would be slight in other hands, and though Nick Hornby’s screenplay is more sentimental than the Colm Tóibín novel it’s based on, the film — in the running for the Academy Award for Best Picture — never dips into treacly territory. The reason for that is Best Actress Oscar-nominee Ronan, whose steely, undemonstrative performance capably anchors the story.
Rated PG-13. 111 minutes. Violet Crown.