What is it about?
An Irish immigrant, Eilis Lacey, lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emroy Cohen, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Domhnall Gleeson,
Directer: John Crowley
Writer: Nick Hornby
Based on the novel by Colm Tóibín
See the trailer here
Is it on Netflix? Yes!
From here on there will be possible spoilers as I explore the meanings of the film and what I personally liked/disliked about it. Okay, moving on!
What I thought…
You know you like a film when you watch it three times in three days. I watched this film on Saturday, and then on Sunday and now it’s Monday I should be doing school work and instead I have watched it again and NEED to talk about it.
I’m not entirely sure why I like it so much. The first time I ever watched it was like a year ago and wasn’t as in love with it as I am now. Purely because the first time I thought the romance between Tony and Eilis wasn’t… I don’t know… wasn’t for me the first time round. However, watching it on Saturday I was like this Tony guy, love him. Absolutely love him. He’s SO sweet! And he treats her so well and just…!
So you guys probably don’t know but I’m Scottish (all my family is from Scotland and I lived there for 4 years) but was born in England and I live in England now. I know they’re Irish, but they have a similarity to the Scots, in the way they deliver lines and the dialogue is quite direct, blunt almost, and I’ve lived with that directness my whole life and often get told ‘Get to the point Emily’ so when watching it I found some of the almost blunt lines quite humorous and just generally quite endearing. And when the old Irish guy began singing the Gaelic song I was almost in tears for how beautiful it was.
I love the transition of Eilis, as we see her as naive at the beginning not knowing about eating on the boat, her sense of fashion with no make up very plain simple clothing, and by the end of it when she goes back to Ireland she stands out so much and you really appreciate her transformation with bold colour choices such as bright yellow and green and the use of make up to show her growing up to be a fully independent woman. Within the character of Eilis I really enjoyed the fact that she was studying book-keeping and that she was going to be an accountant, and how she had so much ambition because the film is set in the 1950s and it was not common for women to have jobs let alone jobs of that status, so I found that a really lovable aspect of the film too. And just generally I really loved the character of Eilis, she’s true to herself, is innocent but not too innocent or naive and by the end when she stands up to Miss Kelly about questioning her about her marriage I was just like YES Eilis! And when she’s like I have a husband in America to her mum, although its really sad that she didn’t tell her mum before then, and she tells her the way she does, but nonetheless she tells her and she stays true to Tony and its just great.
I REALLY like the relationship between Tony and Eilis. When I first watched it I really did not like it whatsoever, I’m going to sound really shallow, but I just felt like Tony was a little small for her and it just seemed a bit awkward at times – like the sex scene looked awkward and the bit where they are walking down the street before he proposes and shes kind of leaning on him but she has to bend to do it and it just looks uncomfortable to say the least. However! Now that I am a bit older, and have been studying Film for a year now, I kind of appreciate all of this; because so often in Hollywood, you always see the perfect couple and the prefect kiss, its so staged that we’re now used to it and expect that. In this film it felt a lot more honest and real, what relationships are like, and I think the use of hugs more than kisses is a really interesting portrayal of the romance.
If you notice in this film, Crowley directs them to hug where perhaps a traditional kiss would have been used. For example, when Tony says he loves her for the first time he hugs her and kisses her on the cheek before he says it, again at the end of the film where she waits for him outside his work they hug (or embrace each other) rather than kiss and it ends with them hugging. I think this is so lovely, because I think hugging is a very emotional, comfort-giving, (I don’t really know how to describe it…) like you get a lot from a hug, you get love, comfort, reassurance, its not necessarily associated with romance. However it is a very true representation of people, you are more likely to hug someone than kiss them, also quite often a kiss comes from a hug in the first place. Like if you hadn’t seen a loved one for months you are more likely to hug them first and kiss them after because you want to embrace them you want to feel that love. However, the use of hugs can also make it slightly less romantic which is perhaps why I didn’t like it to begin with. I think a favorite bit of mine is when she shows her swimming costume to him and he wolf-whistles; I think that’s just so lovely, it made me smile all three times I watched it this weekend.
So I know that this was a bit all over the place and a bit waffley, I didn’t use my usual method of planning what film and then taking notes and everything, i just was like huh.. I’ve watched that film 3 times in 3 days, I must really like it, hey lets write about it. So anyway yeah, I really like it, I like the representation of women in it, I like the fact that its about a journey and making a new life for yourself, I love the romance in it because its so honest and cute, I like how it shows that as a person you can grow out of a place and move on, I like how it kind of implies that a home isn’t a place it’s a person and I liked the simplicity of it all.
5/5 for it. Muchly Enjoyed.