Oscars 2016: A Review of “Brooklyn”

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Hello again, lovely Collective readers. I am back once again to go over one of the Best Picture nominees; this time, it’s Brooklyn. Brooklyn is the story of Eilis Lacey (Saiorse Ronan), a young woman who is unable to find work in Ireland in the 1950s. Her sister Rose arranges for her to emigrate to Brooklyn, New York where she will live in a boarding house and work in a department store. Despite her homesickness at the beginning, Eilis falls in love with Tony (Emory Cohen) and starts to feel at home in America. But when a family tragedy strikes, she returns home to Ireland and catches the eye of Jim (Domhnall Gleeson). Who will she choose in the end? Which country will she choose? While it has the makings of a dramatic love triangle story, Brooklyn is actually a very sweet and happy film, which is why it is one of my favorite nominees of the season.

This movie was like coming up for air; it was refreshing to take a break from the heavy plot lines of all the other nominees I have seen, to just sit and look at cute men being sweet and charming to Saiorse Ronan. This film enchanted me and also made me SO JEALOUS. Come on! Can’t we have men like that anymore? In this age of Tinder and “Netflix and chill”, it is nice to see some chivalry and respect. My face hurts from smiling so much, and I have decided to move to Ireland. Don’t worry, I can make makeup tutorials from anywhere in the world. And I’m sure I’ll be way cheerier in videos once I am married to Domhnall Gleeson. Because that is THE dream. But enough about the men, this movie is all about Saiorse Ronan and the strong female character she portrays so beautifully.

My favorite part of Eilis’ transformation from Irish girl in Ireland to Irish girl in Brooklyn was her introduction to makeup. I adore makeup (clearly) and think it can play a huge part in someone’s confidence, so when Eilis tries it out I was sitting in the theatre wanting to yell “YAAAAAAAAAS GO GIRL.” She befriends a woman on the boat from Ireland who teaches her all about how to enter America, how to act and how to look. “Put a little mascara on you, some rouge, maybe even a bit of eyeliner,” she says to Eilis as she starts this new chapter of her life. And I can only speak for myself, but REALLY GOOD eyeliner really does make you feel really for a new chapter of life. Throughout the film, we see Eilis really come into her own and this is portrayed in her makeup and hair. The other women also have gorgeous makeup, and I definitely see a 1950s inspired tutorial in my future.

The beauty of both locations, Brooklyn and Ireland, really help you believe that Eilis has a tough choice ahead of her. Although I didn’t find the cinematography was anything special, it obviously did help. The film looked beautiful and you truly believed you were in that time period. My favorite part of this film had to be the end. *sorry, sort of spoilers* As I mentioned, at the beginning of the film, we see Eilis being mentored by a woman on the boat; the stranger teaches her how to act, look, and what to expect in America. At the end of the film, Eilis is on the boat once again and does the same thing for a different Irish girl moving to Brooklyn. It helped round out Eilis’ character development and bring a lot of sentiment to the ending.

All in all, this movie was beautiful and it deserves the nomination. However, will it win? Probably not. Spotlight is still my favorite of the bunch, and Brooklyn follows closely after. But go see this on a first date; it might teach the guy how to be decent! Because the best part of Brooklyn was the way the men treated Eilis, and her development into a strong woman. Oh, and Domhnall Gleeson, duh.

What did YOU think of Brooklyn? Let me know in a comment below and I will see you next time with a review of The Big Short!


Katie is a makeup artist/blogger from the Great White North (AKA, good ol’ Canada). She spends her time creating YouTube videos, writing about anything that crosses her mind, and living vicariously through episodes How I Met Your Mother. You can check out her videos here. Or follow Katie on Twitter @thatgeekonline and at her Blog.

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