Movie Review: “Brooklyn”, Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters

The Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing! Yesterday we shared our review of The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne, and today we’re bringing you our review of Brooklyn, which stars Potter alumni Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters.

The film is about a young Irish woman (Saoirse Ronan) who must choose between her home in Ireland and her new life in New York.

Gleeson spoke on the red carpet (see the video here) about the difficulty of such a choice:

I think there’s something comforting in the fact that just because you have two choices doesn’t mean either of them are right.

You have to make a choice; that’s the thing. I think there’s comfort to be had and great sorrow to be had. That’s what makes it a good movie, but I don’t want people to take that away with them.

Read our review of the film below, courtesy of Laura Nicolucci:

I walked into the screening of Brooklyn with tissues in hand, expecting a good cry but instead found myself leaving with a sore jaw from smiling so much.

Directed by John Crowley, Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lovely Bones), a young Irish woman who moves to Brooklyn, New York, for a better life. Leaving her mother and sister behind, Eilis finds herself struggling to adjust until she meets a young Italian plumber named Tony (Emory Cohen: Smash), and the two fall in love. When tragedy strikes her family, Eilis is forced to choose between the life she left in Ireland and the life she’s created in America.

The audience was taken on a roller coaster of emotions with Eilis, and we enjoyed every second of it. While there is tragedy, there is also joy, love, and a whole lot of laughter. It’s hard not to like these characters. Ronan was very impressive in her role as Eilis, and Cohen makes it very easy for you to swoon over Tony. Who really stole the show for me was Julie Walters (Paddington, [Brave]) as Eilis’s landlord, Mrs. Kehoe. Mrs. Kehoe always has an opinion and is not afraid to call out her tenants at the dinner table. I certainly spotted the “Molly Weasley sass” in this role, and I loved it. Fellow Potter alum[ni] Jim Broadbent and Domhnall Gleeson make appearances as well. Broadbent is Father Flood, a gracious priest who mentors Eilis while she settles into her new life, and Gleeson is Jim, an easy to love Irishman [whom] Eilis finds herself spending time with while in Ireland.

Partially shot in Montreal, Canada, I was very happy to spot some familiar Canadian faces in some of the minor roles. Crowley did mention while presenting the film that it was extra special bringing it to Toronto, as so many Canadian citizens have gone through what Eilis goes through in the film. Moving to a new country is scary, and doing it alone is even scarier, but Brooklyn teaches the lesson that deep down, home is truly where the heart is.

Brooklyn hits theaters November 6, and you should definitely check it out!

Catherine Lai

I have been a fan of Harry since 2000, a fan of MuggleNet since 2005, and a MuggleNet team member since 2013. I believe in the power of stories to bring people together, and nothing does that quite like Harry Potter. I live in Toronto, Canada.