With dim prospects for the future in her native Ireland, young Eilis immigrates to Brooklyn, New York, in the 1950s to make a new life for herself. With the help of her sister and a kindly immigrant priest in Brooklyn, she is able to arrange for a job and a room in a boardinghouse.
Eventually she gets the hang of things. She falls in love, and life is going well for her until she is called back to Ireland to help her mother. Returning to Ireland, she is reminded of the things she misses about her homeland.
Director John Crowley brings Colm Tóibín’s novel to life with the help of a faithful screenplay written by Nick Hornby. Saoirse Ronan is remarkable as Eilis, a young woman who is, by turns, excited and terrified by her new circumstances. Her homesickness is palpable, as is her confusion when she is torn between her old life and her new one.
In the end,this movie shows the need to choose and commit to that choice. It also serves as a good reminder of how disorienting it is to be a stranger in a new land, a reminder to follow God’s call to hospitality and generosity. (Fox Searchlight)