It was back in spring of 2012 when we first heard about a film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s 2010 novel about an Irish immigrant, “Brooklyn.” Back then the story was that it was being put together by the same producing team that made An Education, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara was attached to play the lead, and the search was on for a director.
Well, from the looks of the comments made my director John Crowley (Intermission, Boy A) in an interview he recently did with Bleeding Cool [via Dark Horizons], it appears that the suits have finally found the perfect director to bring this story to life, but in the process of making their search for a director, they seem to have lost their star.
When asked by BC’s people what he has planned next, Crowley said, “I’m gonna make a film called Brooklyn which is an adaptation of a novel by Colm Tóibín which Nick Hornby has adapted. We’re going to do it next year.” He then went on to explain that the film is, “a story about emigration from Ireland to America in the fifties. A young woman, who’s going to be played by Saoirse Ronan, about her story in America.”
To be more specific, Brooklyn tells the story of a young woman named Eilis Lacey, who emigrates from a small town in Ireland to the famed borough in New York after experiencing some hard years following the second World War. To be even more specific, Amazon’s listing of Tóibín’s novel describes it by saying, “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, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.”
Crowley said of his interest in doing the film, “I think it’s a story that we’ve never seen on film, certainly not from Ireland, yet. I think it’s an amazing story about Europe and America in the 20th Century. It’s like an epic and a postage stamp at the same time. It’s exquisite.”
Ronan seems to be reaching that critical turning point in every young actress’ career where Hollywood is going to have to figure out what to do with her now that she’s essentially an adult. Too many times we’ve seen actresses who first impressed as children experience a purgatory period in their filmographies where they get relegated to doing teen romances and horror movies after they grow boobs but before they look old enough to be a young mother. Her upcoming starring role in the YAish adaptation How I Live Now seems to be a first step in that direction, even though it’s a film that juggles themes of tragedy and death just as often as it does themes of blossoming young love, so it’s nice to see her taking on something that looks to be meatier and more mature here. If we can get this girl past the age of 25 without her ever having to stumble around in a spooky house while screaming and wearing a tank top, it will be a victory for sure.