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There is an abundance of love found in this wonderful, sublime film. In fact, there is only one undesirable character and only one major incident, which results in adding some suspense to the natural flow of events. Its like one of those Irish Ballads that brings a tear to the eye. We even hear a ballad sung at a meal served at a mission for the Irish homeless in Brooklyn. It comes at a time when Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) is trying hard to overcome her homesickness; not much help there. If this Irish Ballad doesn't move you then you should begin moving to the nearest exit.
Not much original is happening. What makes this an excellent time spent at the movies and a refreshing experience these days, is the acting, writing, and directing. Ronan is obviously at home in the role of a young lady leaving post-war Ireland in search of new opportunities across the pond. Her older sister, Rose (Fiona Glascott), is the one who is intent on gifting Eilis this life-changing opportunity. We find out later in the story why. To avoid the copious pitfalls awaiting an innocent, young immigrant in 1952, Eilis is safely guided by more worldly, earth angels: Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), her ship berth-mate (Eva Birthistle), her supervisor at work (Jessica Paré) and Mrs. Keogh (Julie Walters) her boarding-house landlady.
Her luck dances on when she meets Tony (Emory Cohen) at the local Irish dance hall. He is Italian, but likes Irish girls. He also loves the Dodgers, affectionately nicknamed the "Bums," before breaking all of Brooklyn's hearts when leaving Ebbets Field for Los Angeles in 1957. Hopefully for Tony, Eilis won't break his heart when returning to Ireland after an untimely turn of events. There she meets Jim Farrell (Domnhall Gleeson) and the suspense begins. Who's heart will she break? Remember, it is an Irish Ballad, so someone's heart has to be broken.