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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Brooklyn: The Most Charming Film of 2015

Maybe because I saw Brooklyn immediately after watching the incredibly dark and somewhat boring The Revenant and Room, or maybe because Brooklyn is just a great film that stands on its own in its own right, but I really enjoyed this film. Brooklyn is a romantic tale starring Saoirse (rhymes with inertia) Ronan as an Irish immigrant coming to America in the early 1950's. A girl with lots of potential, but no promise, Ronan's Ellis hops on a boat to find a better life for herself in New York City. She gets a job at a local retail store and eats up meeting a nice and incredibly charming Italian boy played by Emory Cohen. The two meet and fall in love. There's not a whole not to the story itself, but it's the execution that makes it so exquisite.

Part of the charm of Brooklyn is that there's very little that goes wrong. Normally tension and drama are necessary for a story to work, but the lack of it in Brooklyn that makes it so endearing and watchable. You see Ellis grow stronger as she comes into her own in The Big City, and you see how that affects her relationship not only with Cohen's Tony, but with her housemates. Ellis lives in a boarding house, and the scenes where Ellis and her housemates (most notably the banter between the characters played by Emily Bett Rickards and Eve Macklin and the Den Mother played by Mary O'Driscoll) eat dinner are some of the best parts of the film. Brooklyn is a film about living and enjoying your life, and by having these characters grow and charm their way into your hearts, you'll love it from not giving you the normal melodrama you'd expect from a romantic movie.

Brooklyn is what Nicholas Sparks adaptions should aspire to become; romantic without feeling cheesy or forced. A film where you root for the main characters to get together and where you know the main characters will get there without being forced to watch unnecessary obstacles. There most certainly are obstacles to Ellis's and Tony's relationship, that's the entire third act of the film, but it feels earnest and earned in Brooklyn.

Ultimately, Brooklyn is a film that will just make you happy. It's pleasant and enjoyable, and I'm glad it got nominated for Best Picture. The original intent of expanding the Best Picture nominees was so that great tent pole films like The Dark Knight wouldn't get snubbed. Ironically, the big tent pole film of 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road, probably would have gotten a Best Picture nomination no matter what and it's the smaller Brooklyn that ended up being the beneficiary of The Dark Knight Rule. Brooklyn is the reason that I love being an Oscar competitionist. It's the type of film I wouldn't have probably seen normally, and I film I would strongly recommend to all.



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