Nick Hornby’s stirring adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s best-selling novel, outlining the dilemma faced by young Ellis (Saoirse Ronan), who has to choose between her Irish homeland and the new promise of America; the solid certainty of one suitor and the infectious dreams of another.
Opportunities are scarce for young women in post-war, small-town Ireland and spurred on by her elder sister Rose, Eilis emigrates to New York. Overcoming waves of homesickness, she sets about establishing her new life and soon falls in love with handsome Italian-American, Tony (Emory Cohen). Following an unexpected family tragedy, she returns to Ireland where her freshly acquired sophistication attracts the attention of Jim (Domhnall Gleeson) and the prospect of a permanent return home.
Director John Crowley (Boy A, Intermission), adroitly balances tone and mood, combining the pristine romance of Pride and Prejudice with the nostalgic trappings of 1950s Americana and the poetic melancholy of Colm Tóibín’s novel. Ronan (Atonement, How I Live Now) is captivating as a mature young woman with a zest for life, while the inimitable Julie Walters stands out amongst the uniformly excellent cast, offering a delicious turn as Eilis’s Brooklyn landlady.