In Brooklyn, the heartrending immigrant love story that scored three Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Actress), Saoirse Ronan’s Eilis Lacey is considered the responsible one among a houseful of young Irishwomen taking up residence in a New York brownstone. It’s why the boarding house’s landlady, Mrs. Keough, gives her dibs on the digs’ prime space: the basement.
According to prognosticators, including no less an authority than The New York Times, Saoirse Ronan, at the age of just 22, could be in line to earn her second Academy Award nomination for the indie drama Brooklyn. The actress, whose credits include Atonement, Hanna, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, has been receiving accolades her new role as a 1950s Irish immigrant struggling to adjust to life in New York. Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name, the script was adapted by novelist Nick Hornby and stars other Irish actors, including Domhnall Gleeson. Yahoo Movies recently spoke with director John Crowley, also Irish, who shared why his lead actress was — almost eerily — perfect for the part.
Anyone whose grandparents or great-grandparents (or great-great-grandparents, etc) immigrated from Europe in the early or mid-20th century will feel a special connection to Brooklyn, a swoon-inducing romantic drama that debuted with limited screenings yet major acclaim at Sundance and is racking up more fans this week at the Toronto International Film Festival. The always magnetic Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Hanna) finally gets to flex her natural Irish brogue as Eilis Lacey, a mild-mannered shop clerk in the quiet seaside County Wexford who, with the help of the church, gets the opportunity to live in the United States. Brooklyn gets off to a slow start, admittedly, but that all changes once Eilis meets Tony (the perfectly cast Emory Cohen), a sweet and charming Italian-American plumber who shows up at her church dances admitting that “he likes Irish girls.” The chemistry between Eilis and Tony (as well as Ronan and Cohen) is immediate, and their connection deep.