The film totally depends on Soirse Ronan's role as Eilis – and she makes it unforgettable.
Brooklyn depicts both the Ireland and the America of the fifties beautifully. By and large, and without being cloyingly sentimental, we see decent people trying to do good for themselves and others.
As a young woman who feels there is nothing for her in Ireland, Eilis makes her way to Brooklyn, facing the double loss of home and family. After initial heartache she finds friends and romance.
Returning home, following the death of her sister, Eilis finds that Ireland now has a great deal to offer. Whatever choice she makes will involve risk and hurt as well as opportunity.
Often, in full close-up, we see her face – grieving for her sister, torn between what might have been and what is, celebrating moments of love. And such is her strength as an actress that those silent close-ups tell us all we need to know.
As it makes its way through the village streets of Ireland, or lingers on a deserted Irish beach, the camera makes us fall in love with its charm, while also making us sense the energy of Brooklyn and Long Island of the fifties.
Charming, sensitive, magical, sentimental and honest, this is a superb adaptation of a great novel, with an excellent cast, totally dependent on the performance of Soirse Ronan, who has deservedly been nominated for an Oscar, as Best Actress.