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Fairytale of New York

BrooklynIf I ruled the world, Brooklyn would be the teen movie of the season. It has the vicissitudes of young romance, a love triangle, a heroine who blossoms from being pleasant-looking to full-on Titanic-era Kate Winslet, right down to the hair blowing and glowing in the ocean sunrise. It’s probably too quiet for wide appeal, though, and the which-guy-will-she-pick is definitely secondary to to the story of a young woman making her way in a new world both actual and otherwise. But you should go–the cinematography is as gorgeous as the music, and the strong central performance of Saoirse Ronan as Eilis is matched by great supporting performances, especially by Jane Brennan as Eilis’s mother (and Don Draper’s second wife has finally found the job she was born to do). While other fans of Colm Toibin’s novel might not be happy with the less ambiguous ending of this film adaptation, I was just so darned happy for everyone I didn’t mind it a bit.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Well, Michael Brook’s score is the best I have heard all year. I was devastated, overwhelmed, and ravished by the film, and fully concur with your terrific, glowing commentary here. I know you specify “teen movie” but it does work on a number of levels. Ms. Ronan and young Emory Cohen are extraordinary, and so wonderful to have the priceless Jim Broadbent on board.

    I have seen 153 feature length films in the theaters so far this year, and I will go as far as to say that BROOKLYN is my absolute favorite film of them all. I know there are over five weeks left, but I right now I can’t see anything topping it, even though Todd Haynes’ CAROL, another strong bet for greatness opens Friday.

    God, I love this film.

  2. And after witnessing the film finale, I can’t even imagine Toibin’s less resolute ending. Crowley and the screenwriters have well earned the feel good denouement, methinks. 🙂

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