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John Crowley
Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
Writing Credits:
Nick Hornby

An Irish immigrant 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.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$187,281 on 5 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 111 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 3/15/2016
• Audio Commentary with Director John Crowley
• 11 Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary
• Six Promotional Featurettes
• Gallery
• Trailer and Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Brooklyn [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 15, 2016)

Based on Colm Toibin’s novel, 2015’s Brooklyn takes us to the early 1950s. Aided by her older sister Rose (Fiona Glascott), young Irish woman Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) moves to the US in an attempt to improve her life.

Eilis lands in New York and struggles to adapt. However, she eventually finds a community in Brooklyn and launches into a romance with Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen), a local of Italian descent.

Though this goes well, Eilis soon finds herself conflicted when she receives bad news from Ireland. This leaves her with choices to be made about where – and how – she pursues her future.

Of the eight 2015 movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, Brooklyn was the hardest sell for me – by a wide margin. Every year, the Academy selects a few films that I watch solely due to their Best Picture nods, but 2015 proved unusual in that regard. Of the eight picks, seven interested me and required no cajoling to get me to view them.

For 2015, Brooklyn offered the sole exception. I came close to seeing it theatrically, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger, as no aspect of the subject matter appealed to me.

That said, I went into Brooklyn with as open a mind as I could conjure. I won’t say that I expected to love the film, but I did my best to take the movie on its own merits and not let my pre-existing disinterest spoil it.

Every once in a while, Brooklyn comes to life, but much of the time, it seems less than enchanting, largely due to the depiction of Eilis. For much of the film, she comes across as largely devoid of personality, so she fails to make much of an impact. We may follow her life but we don’t invest in it to a huge degree because she seems so bland.

Matters bloom when Eilis and Tony become an item, largely due to the charming performance from Cohen. Likable and engaging, he finally gives the movie a beating heart that keeps us involved for a while. Tony even rubs off on stilted old Eilis and makes her fun during their scenes together.

Unfortunately, when tragedy sends Eilis back to Ireland, she comes across as fickle and unlikable. The film brings in a new suitor (Domhnall Gleeson) and allows Eilis to fall for him a little too easily.

Given how we feel about sweet, innocent Tony, this seems like a real betrayal. If the film had better demonstrated Ireland’s pull for Eilis, we would get her conflict, but this doesn’t occur. Sure, we see some of the ways her friends/family push her, but Eilis still fares poorly because of inaction. If she had told others about Tony, few of these pressures would exist. Because of her inaction, however, Eilis just feels self-centered and cold.

That might not be a fatal flaw if the rest of the movie fared better, but other than those fleeting moments with Tony, Brooklyn seems lackluster. By the end, we want to cheer for her, but we can’t, as her return to Ireland leaves too many scars. Brooklyn comes with occasional glimmers but it mostly seems flawed.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Brooklyn appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with an appealing transfer.

Sharpness seemed fine. A smattering of wider shots came with a smidgen of softness, but those instances remained modest, so the majority of the film looked accurate and concise. No jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of colors, Brooklyn mixed teal and amber with the occasional splash of red. Those choices largely seemed predictable but I can’t complain about their execution, as the tones seemed appropriately rendered. Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows came across as smooth and clear. The image seemed positive from start to finish.

For a character-driven effort, Brooklyn boasted a surprisingly active soundscape. Not that it threatens to dazzle the viewer, but the mix added more pizzazz than anticipated. The soundfield opened up on a number of occasions, mainly during street scenes. A visit to Coney Island brought out a nice feel for place as well.

The most active sequences probably came from those on the boat that brought Eilis to America, as those used the channels well. Other segments lacked the same level of activity, but they contributed a nice sense of dimensionality to the story.

Audio quality worked fine. Music was rich and warm, while effects seemed accurate and dynamic, with good low-end as appropriate. Speech sounded natural and distinctive. I felt pleased with this more than adequate soundtrack.

When we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from director John Crowley. He offers a running, screen-specific look at cinematography and color palette, story/character/adaptations, cast and performance, sets and locations, music, editing, and related domains.

Crowley provides a fairly forgettable commentary. While he throws out the occasional nugget, too much of the track progresses slowly, and it comes with a lot of dead air. These factors turn this into a bland, mediocre chat.

11 Deleted/Extended Scenes run a total of nine minutes, 37 seconds. With an average running time of about 52 seconds, these clips don’t allow for much new material to emerge. One in which Eilis sees racism in action seems moderately interesting, but the rest are fairly ordinary.

We can watch the deleted/extended scenes with or without commentary from Crowley. He tells us a little about the sequences as well as the reason for their deletion. Crowley adds some good notes.

Next we find six promotional featurettes. We get “The Story” (3:28), “Home” (3:01), “Love” (2:58), “Cast” (4:07), “The Making of Brooklyn (3:37) and “Book to Screen” (4:00). Across these, we hear from Crowley, producers Amanda Posey and Finola Dwyer, author Colm Toibin, screenwriter Nick Hornby, and actors Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Emory Cohen, and Julie Walters.

The pieces cover story/characters, cast and performances, locations, period elements, and cinematography. These offer a smattering of details but they usually live up to their billing and provide little more than promotional material.

A Gallery follows. This presents 24 images from the set. It seems fairly forgettable overall.

The disc opens with ads for Demolition, Youth and He Named Me Malala. Sneak Peek adds clips for Desert Dancer, Mistress America and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. We also locate the trailer for Brooklyn.

When Brookylyn engages its sweet, romantic side, it charms. Unfortunately, too much of the film concentrates on melodrama and depicts its lead character as self-centered, factors that make it hard to embrace. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio as well as mediocre supplements. Despite glimmers, Brooklyn lacks consistency.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
1 3:
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