Parallel Films’ production of Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson will begin filming in April in Wexford and Canada. Directed by John Crowley, the film is an adaptation by Nick Hornby of Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name, and it will also star Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Emory Cohen.
Set in the 1950s, as is the novel on which it is based, Brooklyn concerns a young Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey (who appears to be renamed Nora in the film) starts a new life in New York. However, a family tragedy back in Ireland means she has to make a difficult choice between the two men she loves in both countries.
Brooklyn is a HanWay films production, and that company’s website summarises the plot in rather jaunty fashion in their pre-production news page. “All Nora has to look forward to if she stays in 1950s Ireland are slick-haired rugby players, selling cigarettes one at a time at the local shop, and bad weather."
"So when a kindly priest, Father Flood, sponsors her to go to America, she packs her meagre belongings, says goodbye to her mother and her sister, Rose, and hello to…Brooklyn, which with its bright lights, brownstones and brash confidence is a shock for timid Nora. Seasickness from the treacherous journey to Ellis Island transforms into homesickness as she gets to Mrs. Kehoe’s daunting lodging house, full of gossiping single girls.”
The project was developed by BBC Films, The Irish Film Board is also funding and Parallel Films in Ireland is co-producing.
The omens are good for a compelling production, as screenwriter Nick Hornby, and the film’s producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey were all Oscar-nominated for the acclaimed period drama, An Education.
Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan most recently starred in How I Live Now.