Brooklyn film makes its debut in theaters

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ELENA GOODENBERGER | CONTRIBUTOR | THE USD VISTA

Every year an array of films are premiered at the annual Sundance Film Festival in January.  This past year, Brooklyn made its debut at the festival and has finally made its way to theaters for the much anticipated release on Nov. 20.

Saoirse Ronan plays the role of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who leaves the comforts of her mother and sister to emigrate to Brooklyn in the 1950s. Through moving to a new country and immersing herself in the melting pot that is Brooklyn, New York, Eilis matures into a poised, confident adult and learns that sometimes a person has to step outside their comfort zone to uncover their true self.

Ronan reflects on the new movie Brooklyn and one of the central themes throughout the entire film- homesickness.

“We’ve all left home, gone to college, moved away to a different country or a different state. . . that feeling that you get when you move away and you realize that once you’ve moved away you can never kind of go back to how it was is universal,” Ronan said.

Brooklyn accurately depicts the universal feeling of homesickness that most young adolescents experience after moving away from home.

Not only was there an entire ocean separating Eilis from her family in Ireland, but she also did not have access to technological advances such as FaceTime and Skype that many students use to communicate with their families today.

During a phone interview with Ronan, she explains the struggle with homesickness.

“In spite of the amount of technology we have now, it’s still just as hard and it’s still just as heartbreaking for people,” Ronan said.

Indeed, even Ronan herself experienced that feeling of loneliness and nostalgia around the time she was filming Brooklyn.

“I had moved away from home and was living in London and was going through homesickness myself and still trying to figure out where I stood in the grownup world. . . every kind of stage that we see Eilis reaching and overcoming, I was going through myself,” Ronan said.

In addition to relating to Eilis on an emotional level, there are many other parallels between Saoirse Ronan and Eilis Lacey. For example, Ronan herself was raised in Ireland. Perhaps it is Ronan’s deep, emotional connection to Eilis’s character that enables her to so beautifully portray her transformation.

While Eilis encounters feelings of love, loneliness, and grief during her initial stay in Brooklyn, it is her reaction to these emotions that truly reveals the strength of her character. Ronan, along with the other cast members and director John Crowley succeed in bringing Ellis’s transformation to life through gradual character development and an enticing plotline. Combine that with breathtaking Irish scenery and an innately human love-story and  a film that can captivate audiences of any age or background.

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