Book vs Film #2 Brooklyn

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America — to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland” — she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

I already talked about this film/book in another post, but I wanted to feature it in this new meme. This is one of those cases where I watched the film, fell in love with it and decided to read the book hoping to feel the same. Spoiler: I didn’t.

I watched the Brooklyn film back in 2015 and I’ve watched it probably 3 times more ever since (and I still want to watch it again). I’m fully aware that this is a rather “simple” film, in the sense that it’s not an epic romantic drama like Titanic or even The Notebook. Some people have told me that: “yes, it was okay, just nothing special”. But when I watched this movie, I hadn’t watched a romantic flick where I rooted so much for the characters in a very LONG time. I had already made my mind when I watched the trailer, as I remember thinking: this Italian “fella” is so cute. And sometimes, a story is justs perfect for you.

The story features various ingredients I really enjoy (no murders this time haha!): Irish immigrants in New York, Brooklyn (I’m completely in love with the Brooklyn area), Italian accents, Irish accents, the 50s, Sunday dances, genuinely good guys who are gentle, kind and funny…

The book wasn’t bad and I would’ve probably liked it better had I read it before watching the film. It just was so different, I found it rather “cold” and I didn’t care about the characters that much. The relationships didn’t feel genuine, I felt like Eilis didn’t really like any of the guys and I certainly want to feel something when I’m reading about a romantic relationship. Underwhelmed was the perfect word to describe my feelings while reading the novel.

So this time, the film is a clear winner. Saoirse Ronan was fantastic, and I want to be Eilis and have Emory Cohen’s Tony fall in love with me. Also, I can’t watch the final monologue without bawling like a baby.


22 thoughts on “Book vs Film #2 Brooklyn

  1. I read the book and loved it, and then watched the film and loved it. I’m sorry you didn’t like the book but i think you consumed them the wrong way round!


  2. Oh jeez the movie trailer was so good! I want to see it now haha

    It doesn’t surprise me that you found colm toibins writing cold,I’ve felt the same way about some of his other books. Maybe because it always rains where he lives? Lol


  3. What a pity! I love Toibin’s writing and found the book had far more depth than the film. The film looks gorgeous and I loved it too, but I thought it concentrated too much on the love angle – as you spotted, in the book Eilis’ feelings for him aren’t at all as they come over in the film. I’d never describe the book as a romance, though I think that’s the perfect word for the film. I might have felt the same as you if I’d seen the film first, though. 😀


  4. Probably the order messed things up. I always try and read the book first. There are movies that I enjoyed such as The Notebook and Lord of The Rings but I know that I may not like the books as much. So could be the order here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved both the book and film. The film helped me visualized the book. I definitely wanted to travel back in time as well as go to Brooklyn and see what traces of history it still has…


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