Have you ever been homesick? It’s a horrible feeling and one that I only experienced once in my lifetime. While entertaining our troops on a mountaintop in Turkey, one of my songs in a USO tour show was part of a medley including “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins and “Home” from “The Wiz”. It was Thanksgiving Day and I a began t o sing the words “When I think of home I think of place…”, I realized for the first time in my life I wasn’t home.
I wouldn’t be running all over St. Louis to visit with relatives, play games, go to the movies, be entertained by those relatives who are not intentionally comedic, but most importantly it would be the first time away from my Mom and brother. NO sweet potato pie…NO greens…NO cranberry relish…NO Macy’s parade. I bravely chose to be related to hundreds of soldiers who were not able to be with their families.
It was an experience I shall not soon forget and get choked up now even as I share the experience with you.
Based on the novel by Nick Hornsby, “Brooklyn” is a coming of age story about a young Irish girl leaving home for the first time to travel to America, where she discovers many firsts…falling in love with her new country, herself and the love of her life.
Being homesick for Eilis (Saoirse Ronan is like not feeling at home in your native country or one that you have chosen to live or visit. It’s sort of like being in exile. Until she has a chance meeting with a charming Italian by the name of Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen) at a dance. That dance and meeting changes everything. Due to unforseen circumstances, Eilis finds herself back in Ireland with the dilemma of choosing to stay or return to her life and love in Brooklyn.
Saoirse Ronan is extraordinary as Eilis. Through her ability to be completely open and vulnerable. We have the pleasure of watching this strong-willed young woman, grow and mature right before our eyes. At a recent Q & A, Roman expressed how proud she was to represent her country onscreen and the pressure that comes along with wanting to get everything just right.
Her leading man Emory Cohen as Tony has a very commanding presence and one that is reminiscent of a young Marlon Brando. At just 25 years old, I assure you this dude is going to turn Hollywood upside down. His talent and acting chops are un-paralleled in my opinion.
But Baby, Miss Julie Waters as Mrs. Kehoe is hilarious!!! Everyone knows of or has had a landlady like her…judgemental and outspoken with a heart of gold.
John Crowley’s direction is best described by himself as “…capturing twenty seconds of this illusion thing called truth”. Coming from a theater background, he wholeheartedly believes in the rehearsal process. As daunting as it is to recreate the same performance 8 times a week onstage, it’s even more complex to catch lightning in a bottle for the screen. The difference is that you can shoot and shoot until you get it just right.
“Brooklyn” is a heartwarming, emotionally entertaining roller coaster look at 1950’s Brooklyn and Ireland through the eyes of one young woman and her family. It’s a journey you definitely want to book a ticket to. “Brooklyn” opens in selected theaters on November 4th.