ACF Middlebrow #21: Brooklyn


Flagg Taylor and I bring you a movie fit for the festive season — a beautiful piece of selective nostalgia, a story devoid of anything sordid. A girl from Ireland is sent to America in the 1950s, to make something of herself, to find herself a future — to find her path to a decent happiness. You get to see her adventures in Brooklyn and it’s a perfectly Tocquevillian story of America’s many voluntary associations. It was a success and earned three important Oscar nominations, including protagonist Saoirse Ronan’s second actress nomination — she has earned a third meanwhile. I have an introductory essay over at The Federalist and, of course, the podcast for an in-depth, loving conversation about a wonderful movie.


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  1. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    I enjoyed the movie, especially since my both parents came over from Ireland in 1927 and met and married here, however I have a historical quibble. I understand this is an Irish story and a European movie but 1952-53 was the Korean War period in this country and war or not, between 1940 and 1969 all able bodied American men had a military obligation to deal with and the entire subject goes unmentioned in a house with four young men in it. It would be like a movie set in 1943 omitting WWII. People not subject to the draft may not realize how enormous this obligation was, one had to make some plans to deal with it. Tony would not be able to make the plans he was making without some reference to this.

    My thoughts leaving the theater, which the characters could not know , of course, is that since Tony appears on the road to success, in a mere five years there will be jet planes and she would be able to return on a visit to Ireland with Tony and a few kids to show her mother. Leaving was not quite the ‘forever’ thing it had been in earlier times.

    • #1
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    I’ll put it on my library check-out list.

    • #2
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat

    It was one of the sweetest movies I had seen in a while and I rewatch it frequently when I need a lift.  I absolutely loved it and how America was viewed in post-World War II Europe.  


    • #3
  4. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad

    Thank SoundCloud for popping this up after I finished the Harold Ramis podcast.

    So much fun, thank you. My parents loved this movie especially. I hope they’ll listen to the podcast!


    • #4
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