An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
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In late 1951, Eilis Lacey, a young Irish girl, emigrates to Brooklyn. Sponsored by Father Flood, a priest from her native town Enniscorthy, she is assured to find a full-time job there. But the early days are tough, seasickness being soon replaced by loneliness and homesickness, two feelings all the more acutely felt by Eilis for having had to leave behind her widowed mother and her dear sister Rose. She nevertheless little by little manages to find her footing by adapting to her job as a salesgirl, by studying bookkeeping at Brooklyn College as well as with a little help from both Father Flood and Mrs. Kehoe, the owner of the boarding school she now lives in. And not only does graduation follow but love shows its face in Tony, an Italian-American plumber, full of adoration and respect for her. They end up marrying, although keeping the thing secret. It is at that point that tragedy strikes inciting Eilis to return to Enniscorthy to support her mother morally. And there a strange ... Written by
Looming skyscrapers in a distant land, the kindness of strangers, love and hope for a better life; such things open the eyes of Eilis, a smart and insular immigrant to 1950s Brooklyn, to opportunities she did not have in the Irish countryside. While at first lonely and homesick in this new cityscape, Eilis is soon enthralled with the bright possibilities, encouraged by all she is learning and charmed by the people she meets. She breaks free from her shell and shines in this radiant, unfamiliar realm. Returning to Ireland for what she hopes is a brief stay, Eilis both sees through and is seen in a luminous and different light. Both worlds, New York and her Irish home, now pull the new and improved Eilis in different directions.
Saoirse Ronan is spectacular in her performance as Eilis. She really makes this Sundance hit come alive. It is comforting, as always, to see a film that does not depend on explosions, computer graphics and alien contagions to entertain. There is a deeper pleasure here, one that pulls at mind, spirit, body and heart together. Visuals, story, organization, acting, intriguing characters and more, all come together well.
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