There is something pretty amazing about the new film "Brooklyn," a sweet coming of age story anchored by an Oscar nomination worthy performance from Saoirse Ronan.

It's a throwback of sorts, where the story and characters take center stage. 

It's a  lovely piece of cinema, and one of the best movies of 2015 to date.

Ronan plays Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant who arrives in Brooklyn in the 1950s with hopes of making a life for herself.

At first Eilis struggles with homesickness, but it quickly erases when she begins a romance with an Italian boy named named Tony (Emory Cohen).

The romance is tested when a family tragedy leads Eilis back to Ireland, where new opportunities arise - including another possible suitor named Jim (Domhnall Gleeson).

"Brooklyn" is a joy to watch unfold, with Nick Hornby's screenplay adaptation of Colm Toibin's novel full of surprises.

This is a film where I felt the trailer gave away too much, but was pleasantly surprised when the story took a few unexpected turns.

It's a lot lighter than the trailer leads one to believe, especially in scenes involving the head of a boarding house Eilis is staying at (played marvelously by Julie Walters).

That doesn't mean "Brooklyn" doesn't pull at the heart strings, with several scenes certain to make even the stone-faced a little misty eyed.

It helps to become emotionally invested when the film is anchored by a strong performance and that is the case with "Brooklyn."

From the first frame, Ronan's performance is memorizing. It's clear the camera loves her and director John Crowley uses that to his advantage.

We get to experience her ups and downs, her triumphs and pain, and with every moment Ronan keeps the audience invested. It's a wonderful performance in a film that is full of wonder, and discovery - both for the character and the audience.

"Brooklyn" is rated PG - 13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language and is now playing in Nashville.


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