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review

Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen star as Eilis and Tony in Brooklyn.

Saoirse Ronan puts a lock on a second Oscar nomination here with her finely calibrated performance as Eilis Lacey, an ingénue in the deeply prefeminist early 1950s, caught between the novelty of new life and love in Brooklyn and a deep attachment to her southern Ireland home.

Sensitively adapted by Nick Hornby (An Education, Wild) from Colm Toibin's bestselling novel of the same name, the movie gets the period just-so in terms of look, tenor and emotion. John Crowley's direction – unfussy, thoughtful – pulls fine performances from Ronan's confederates, including Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson as the stout-hearted love interests, Julie Walters as Eilis's sharp-tongued landlady and Brid Brennan as the venomous Miss Kelly.

Fans of the novel, of which I'm one, may find the film sweeter and more romantic than Toibin's original conception.

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