Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2015 Award Circuit: Brooklyn Review

2015 Award Circuit: Brooklyn Review
The 2015 Award Circuit will be a collection of reviews of films that are in some kind of award runnings within the months of January through March. Not only will this prepare me for the big night (AKA Oscar Night), but it will also allow me to catch up with some of the critically acclaimed films I missed out on in 2015. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy watching and writing them.

Out of all the genres Hollywood gets wrong so often, I can't believe that romance is among them. I mean the feelings of love, affection, need, desire, care...these are second nature to so many of us that its hard to fathom that it all comes off so pedestrian. Why are romance movies so silly? Why are they filled with cornball dialogue? Why are they sappy and weepy? Why does nobody explore the pure joy that comes with being in love? Why does nobody examine the thoughtful frustration and complex emotions of being in love? Why does it always have to resort to comedy when telling these stories? Yes, divorce is high and its common for people to never marry, but that doesn't mean love is dead. I am not one of those people that believes somebody HAS to be married in order to care for someone, I think we have all been stung by the love bee at least once in our lives, so why can't a movie be made to reflect it?

"Brooklyn" is one of the very best movies made about love. Ever. Its a completely realistic human story. It features characters who are people, not types or archetypes, but real people. You can identify with them. You can understand them. I feel as if through the two hours of movie, there is at least one piece of the human journey someone can grab and hold onto. This is a romance movie that gets everything right that the Nicholas Sparks adaptations get wrong. If "Brooklyn" was only a romance, then it would have accomplished its goal in a major way.

But its not just about the romance, its mostly about Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) an Irish girl who gets to move to America in the 1950's after her sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) helps her. Rose wants a better life for her sister and she believes she can find in America. While its a bumpy road to New York City, Eilis makes it there and begins life in New York City. She meets an Italian boy named Tony (Emory Cohen) and they slowly begin to fall in love. Tony isn't some punk, he isn't a fool, he isn't ego-driven and he doesn't have a dark past. "Brooklyn" sidesteps any and all cliches with ease. This is simply a story of how two individuals fall for each other, and it happens in a suddenly human manner. When Eilis has to return to Ireland after a family death, she secretly marries Tony. Not realizing her mom will try to keep her Ireland and fix her up with several suitors.

"Brooklyn" covers a lot of ground. It tells a good story about the immigration experience. It tells a good story about an individual missing her homeland as she carves out a new life for herself in a new world. It tells a good story about the norms of 1950's America. It tells a good story about faith and devotion. Most of all, it tells a good story about love, which has been deeply missing in Hollywood these days.

The big question is did Saoirse Ronan do a good enough job to be nominated for an Oscar? I would say yes. I have enjoyed watching Ronan come into her own as a performer, as I have enjoyed all her work, even when she was a child. She definitely does not disappoint here and this her at her most gracious. This is easily one of her finest performances and even though I don't think she has a chance in winning, she definitely deserved the nomination. I hope she gets more roles like this and I hope she continues to evolve as an actress, because she has so much talent that its almost insane.

I've got one more big movie I want to see before Oscar Sunday, and I will hopefully watch and review either tomorrow or Friday. Then Saturday I will review my data and make my predictions. I hope I can get every one right this year! Fingers crossed.

FINAL GRADE: A

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