FILM 1574: BROOKLYN
TRIVIA: John Crowley divided the movie into three different visual movements. The first movement is before Eilis leaves post-war Ireland and is with tight frames and filled with green tones. The color scheme was created by photographic reference of the time. The second movement begins when Eilis leaves for Brooklyn and the first proper wide shot is featured, while the colors become more playful as a nod to how America in 1952 was on the cusp of pop culture kicking off. The third movement is back in Ireland, brighter, more glamour and "subtly more colorful" than the first movement. Crowley wanted to showcase Eilis has changed and looks very different: "There is a slight dreamy quality to that last third," he says.
The city of Brooklyn in the film was actually shot in Montreal for budgeting reasons, as the production was unable to turn 2015 Brooklyn back to 1950s Brooklyn. Only two days of production were spent in Brooklyn, one in order to create the brownstone exterior shots and a second to film at Coney Island.
Saoirse Ronan herself was born in The Bronx, New York, but raised in Ireland to Irish parents. She considers 'Brooklyn' to be one of her most personal films and it marks the first time she plays an Irish character in a film. (In The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) she spoke with an Irish accent but played a citizen of a generic fictitious European country.) In an interview with David Poland she expressed her concern with taking the role:"I felt like I can't mess this up, because all of Ireland will be watching. I felt a huge responsibility to the country to really capture what the story was." However, she said the warm reception at the Sundance Film Festival made her realize the universal essence of the film.
While this is Saoirse Ronan's first time using her native Irish accent, the dialect of her character differs from the one she uses in reality. In this film, she uses a Wexford accent, as her character is from Enniscorthy, while she speaks with a Dublin accent in her private life.
Irish author Colm Tóibín's idea for the novel came from a child memory, in which he overheard a woman talk about her young daughter's move from Enniscorthy to Brooklyn. In 2000 he wrote a short story about this memory, but expanded it to a novel years later, after living in United States himself, as well as teaching literary courses, where he said he was inspired by Jane Austen's "method of examining a single psychology, using an introspective, sensitive heroine, some comic characters and some romance."
Saoirse Ronan received 51 award nominations for her performance.
Julie Walters claims her character is reminiscent of her real-life aunt. John Crowley offered the role to Walters because, among other things, he knew of her Irish descent; "I knew Julie had an Irish mother and I had a suspicion that she would know that woman inside out, and of course she did. She knew who she was, right down to what her hair should look like and what she should dress like. Her accent's impeccable and of course she's a hysterically funny actress, but here she's doing it in a very real way. It's beautifully played."