Easily my favorite movie of 2015, Brooklyn is a good old-fashioned romance told with great warmth and dignity. Saoirse Ronan, seemingly born for the role, plays Eilis, a shy Irish immigrant who arrives in New York City in 1951 to make a better life for herself, and who eventually wins the heart of a local boy (Emory Cohen).
There are a few complications, which I won't give away here, but mostly that's it. Yet Brooklyn, despite such simple, unhurried plotting, is a pure delight to watch. Aside from the gorgeous sets and costumes, you have a great supporting cast packed with amusing characters, and Ronan gracefully anchors the film as an effortlessly likable girl who, in classic script-reader parlance, you truly root for.
The film is so sweet and easygoing that, at a point, I started dreading the inevitable Bad News that would upset all the happy times, because that's what always happens when things are going well in a drama. That moment does arrive, but when it does, it's poignant instead of depressing, opening the door to a new chapter in the story that is quite beautiful in its own right.
Brooklyn manages to be lovely and life-affirming without once descending into sentimentalism. Kudos to John Crowley's restrained direction and to another no-nonsense script by novelist-turned-screenwriter Nick Hornby, adapting Colm Tóibin's 2009 book. If you don't see this film, you're missing out on something special.