1. Brooklyn is a 2015 historical period drama film directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby, based on Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name.
2. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters.
3. Set in 1952, the film tells the story of a young Irish woman’s immigration to Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance.
4. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within them for her.
5. Brooklyn premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim.
6. It opened in limited release on 4 November 2015 in the United States and the UK on 6 November 2015.
7. The film has been nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
8. Principal photography began on 1 April 2014 in Ireland, and was shot for three weeks at different locations including Enniscorthy, Wexford and Dublin. On the first day of shooting, Ronan was spotted in period costume on the set in Enniscorthy. After finishing production in Ireland, it then moved to Montreal, Quebec for a four weeks further. Two days were spent shooting in New York; one day in Brooklyn and one day at Coney Island.
9. Brooklyn received a rapturous standing ovation at its Sundance Film Festival premiere.
10. As of 3 February 2016, Brooklyn has grossed $30.8 million in North America and $9.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $40.2 million, against a budget of $10 million
11. The film had the biggest opening of any Irish film in Ireland since 1996 earning over $650,000 from 87 theaters. That’s the best drama debut since Michael Collins opened to $662,000 in November 1996.
12. 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 Ellis 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 glamor 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.
13. Saoirse Ronan was getting a manicure in Dublin when she discovered that she had received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the film. In her rush of excitement, she bought champagne for everyone in the salon.
14. 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 uses her Irish accent in a film. 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.
15. 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.
16. Rooney Mara was originally cast in the lead role. However, her eventual replacement, Saoirse Ronan, was a front-runner for the part since the film began development, but she was too young to portray Eilis. The production was stalled for years, Mara backed out and when the project was ready to resume, Ronan had aged properly to fit the character and won the part.
17. For the close-up scenes of Saoirse Ronan, cinematographer Yves Bélanger placed individual lanterns for her eyes in order to add a sparkle to their reflections. Bélanger also used an Alexa hand-held camera and a combination of studio and natural lights to capture a more real and personal depiction of the 1950s.
18. 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.”
19. 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.
20. Ellis’ yellow dress is costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux’s favorite from the film. It was bought from a vintage shop in Montreal.
21. Eilis is pronounced “Ay-lish”.
22. Second collaboration between Domhnall Gleeson and Julie Walters. He played Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies and she played his mother, Molly Weasley.