Brooklyn (film)

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Brooklyn FilmPoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Crowley
Produced by
Screenplay byNick Hornby
Based onBrooklyn
by Colm Tóibín
Music byMichael Brook
CinematographyYves Bélanger
Edited byJake Roberts
Distributed by
Release date
  • 26 January 2015 (2015-01-26) (Sundance)
  • 6 November 2015 (2015-11-06) (United Kingdom)
Running time
112 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Ireland
Budget$11 million[2]
Box office$62.1 million[3]

Brooklyn is a 2015 romantic drama film directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby, based on Colm Tóibín's novel Brooklyn. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters. Set in the early 1950s, the film tells the story of a young Irish woman's immigration to Brooklyn, where she falls in love. When her past catches up with her she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within them for her.

Brooklyn premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim.[4] It opened in limited release on 4 November 2015 in the US and the UK on 6 November 2015.[5] The film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.

Brooklyn was ranked 48th on BBC's 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century.[6]


In 1951, Eilis Lacey is a young woman from Enniscorthy, County Wexford, a small town in southeast Ireland, where she lives with her mother and sister, Rose. She is unable to find employment, other than working weekends at a shop run by the spiteful Miss Kelly, nicknamed "Nettles Kelly", and is not interested in the local young men. Her sister writes to an Irish priest (Father Flood) in Brooklyn who arranges for her to go to New York City to find a better future. She leaves but suffers from seasickness on the voyage and ends up being locked out of the toilet by her cabin neighbours. The woman in the bunk below her, an experienced traveller, helps her, giving her advice and support.

Eilis lives at a Brooklyn boarding house where she dines each night with the landlady and her fellow residents, all young women. She has a job at a department store but is shy and quiet when interacting with customers, garnering some criticism from Miss Fortini, her supervisor. Her letters from her sister make her homesick. She is visited by Father Flood, and he tries to help by enrolling her in bookkeeping classes. At a dance she meets Italian-American Tony Fiorello, who quickly becomes her boyfriend. She begins to feel more comfortable in New York, and she and Tony become more and more involved romantically.

Father Flood informs Eilis that Rose has died suddenly of an undisclosed illness. After a trans-Atlantic phone call reveals her mother is struggling to cope, Eilis returns home for a visit. Before leaving for Ireland, Tony suggests that they marry. Tony and Eilis eventually get married before a judge without telling family or friends. In Ireland, everybody seems to be conspiring to keep Eilis from leaving. Her best friend is getting married a week after her scheduled return journey, and her mother has already accepted the invitation on her behalf. She fills in part-time at her late sister's old bookkeeping job, which leads to the possibility of a full-time job. She goes on dates with an eligible and well-off bachelor. Eilis starts to feel that she now has a future in Ireland that did not exist when she left and stops opening the letters she receives from Tony.

Miss Kelly, her former employer, meets with Eilis and relates that she has learned of Eilis' marriage in New York. Agitated, Eilis is reminded of the pettiness rampant in such a small town, making her homesick for Brooklyn. She informs her mother of her marriage and that she is leaving for Brooklyn the next day. On the crossing, she offers guidance to a young woman making her own first trip to Brooklyn. The film ends with Eilis and Tony reuniting and happily embracing.



Principal photography began on 1 April 2014 in Ireland, and was shot for three weeks at different locations including Enniscorthy, Wexford, and Dublin.[8][9][10] On the first day of shooting, Ronan was spotted in period costume on the set in Enniscorthy.[11][12] After finishing production in Ireland, it then moved to Montreal, Quebec for four weeks further.[9] Two days were spent shooting in New York at Coney Island.[13]


Brooklyn premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 26 January 2015. After it premiered, a bidding war began between The Weinstein Company, Focus Features and Fox Searchlight Pictures. Fox Searchlight Pictures prevailed, acquiring the distribution rights for US and other multiple territories for $9 million. The deal was one of the biggest to ever come out of Sundance.[4] It was selected to be shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.[14] The film opened in a limited release in the United States on 4 November 2015, before opening in a wide release on 25 November 2015.[15]


Critical response[edit]

Brooklyn received a standing ovation following its premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.[16] On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 256 reviews, with an average rating of 8.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Brooklyn buttresses outstanding performances from Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen with a rich period drama that tugs at the heartstrings as deftly as it satisfies the mind."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[18]

Box office[edit]

Brooklyn grossed $38.3 million in North America and $23.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $62.1 million, against a budget of $11 million.[19][20]

The film's gross in Canada exceeded C$4 million, giving it the highest cumulative domestic gross of any Canadian film released in 2015.[21][22] The film had the biggest opening of any Irish film in Ireland since 1996 earning over $650,000 from 87 cinemas, making it the strongest drama debut since Michael Collins opened to $662,000 in November 1996.[23] The Hollywood Reporter calculated the film made a net profit of $3–4 million.[24]


Brooklyn received many nominations for industry and critics awards, including three nominations for the 88th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Ronan's performance in particular was praised and garnered her Oscar, BAFTA,[25] Critics' Choice,[26] Golden Globe,[27] and SAG nominations for best actress.[28] She also won the BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film.[29] Julie Walters was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTAs.[25] The film won the Audience Favorite Gold Award in World Cinema at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Rogers People's Choice Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Virginia Film Festival. Cohen was named Breakthrough Performer at the Hamptons International Film Festival.[30] It won two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Musical Score and two 18th Quebec Cinema Awards (formerly known as the Prix Jutra), for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.[citation needed]

Brooklyn was also named one of the best films of 2015, featuring on more than 120 "Top 10" film critics' lists.[31] It is ranked fourth on Rotten Tomatoes and fifth on Metacritic's best reviewed films of 2015.[32][33][34]


  1. ^ "BROOKLYN (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. ^ "With indie films such as 'Brooklyn' and 'Room', the creativity often begins with the financing". Los Angeles Times. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Brooklyn (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Kit, Borys (27 January 2015). "Sundance: Fox Searchlight Nabs 'Brooklyn'". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. ^ "US date set for Saoirse Ronan-starring Brooklyn". Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  6. ^ "The 21st Century's 100 greatest films". BBC. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  7. ^ Mekado Murphy. "Bluffer's Guide to the Oscars: Best Actress". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  8. ^ Rosser, Michael (1 April 2014). "Brooklyn begins shoot with Saoirse Ronan". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b McNary, Dave (1 April 2014). "Saoirse Ronan Heads to Ireland for John Crowley's 'Brooklyn'". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  10. ^ Kemp, Stuart (1 April 2014). "Saoirse Ronan to Star in 'Brooklyn'". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  11. ^ Flint, Hanna (1 April 2014). "Saoirse Ronan arrives in period costume onto the Irish set of her new movie based on Colm Toibin's acclaimed novel". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  12. ^ Blake Knox, Kirsty (1 April 2014). "Saoirse Ronan keeps warm with water bottle on movie set". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  13. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (8 November 2015). "Interview : Director John Crowley". AwardsDaily. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Toronto to open with 'Demolition'; world premieres for 'Trumbo', 'The Program'". ScreenDaily. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Brooklyn". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  16. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin (30 January 2015). "Sundance Ignites 2016 Oscar Race with 'Brooklyn,' 'Grandma' and More". Variety. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Brooklyn (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Brooklyn reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Brooklyn (2015)". The Numbers. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Review: 'Brooklyn,' Starring Saoirse Ronan, Is A Masterpiece". Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  21. ^ Barry Hertz (4 February 2016). "A Canadian box-office battle between Snowtime! and Brooklyn". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Brooklyn Tops Canadian Box Office". Northernstars. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  23. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (9 November 2015). "Irish Box Office Smiles On 'Brooklyn'; Best Local Drama Debut In 19 Years – Update". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  24. ^ Pamela McClintock (3 March 2016). "And the Oscar for Profitability Goes to ... 'The Martian'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  25. ^ a b Nancy Tartaglione. "BAFTA Nominations: 'Bridge Of Spies', 'Carol' Lead – Full List – Deadline". Deadline.
  26. ^ Gray, Tim. "Critics' Choice Award Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  27. ^ Lang, Brent. "'Carol,' Netflix Lead Golden Globes Nomination". Variety. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  28. ^ "Screen Actors Guild Awards: Dame Helen Mirren and Idris Elba lead British charge". BBC News. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  29. ^ Lee, Benjamin (7 December 2015). "Ex Machina triumphs at British independent film awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Irish film Brooklyn continues awards run in US". RTÉ. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  31. ^ "Film Critic Top 10 Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  32. ^ "Best of 2015: Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  33. ^ "Top 100 Movies of 2015". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  34. ^ Greene, Steve (14 December 2015). "Critics Pick the Best Films and Performances of 2015 in Indiewire's Annual Poll". Retrieved 16 December 2015.

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