Irish immigrants, crossing the Atlantic to pastures new in America - it's a tale as old as the modern age itself.

It's a tale so powerful it has shaped the nation of America and in turn, shaped the western world. Enough has been sung, danced, written and filmed about this. There is no need for another story. So why make the movie Brooklyn?

This film details the young life of Eilis Lacey, an innocent, timid and delicate Irish girl. She is to go to America, leaving her beloved sister Rose, and Mary, her irascible, though well-meaning mother behind.

On to the vast ship we are thrust then, bloated with tough conditions and tossed by the high Atlantic seas. A young Americanised Irish woman takes pity on Eilis, and guides her through the gates of the new world.

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Through she goes, and is quickly overwhelmed, belittled and dispirited. Happily though, a decent Italian American man meets her, and they fall in love.

She finds peace, only to be wrenched back to Ireland unexpectedly and reminded of all that home had to offer. This is the extent to which the plot thickens. 

The problem is, not much is in serious jeopardy for our main character.

Yes, she is faced with a serious life decision, but she is never in real, imminent danger, ever. Angela’s Ashes, this ain’t.

The film doesn't have the feel of a tragedy and the real tension is stuffed into the final third and passed off a little too quickly.

Such pains were taken over Eilis’s character in America, and the tricky social mores of the period, that her return to Ireland feels slightly rushed.

There aren't any great surprises or shocks in store, and you can’t help but think that it’ll all be alright in the end. Then again, this is set in the 1950s. This isn’t about the horrid squalor of Angela’s Ashes.

This is a sweeping epic, not a blunt, hard-up grizzly affair. It is to be romanticised. Crucially, the director John Crowley, knows it. 

So then, if a film is to be sumptuously shot, with an emphasis placed on romance, it needs some humanising tricks to engross and bewitch.

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Step forward Saoirse Ronan. She assumes the role of Eilis with a potent mix of vulnerability and inner steel. She is supported by dreamy Emory Cohen as her new Italian man, Tony, and the elegant and kind Jim Farrell, played by Domhnall Gleeson.

Julie Walters even makes an appearance as the incisive, judgemental but good-natured Mrs Kehoe.

The cast is strong and they conjure deep sympathy.

In a Christmas scene, Eilish volunteers to feed a veritable army of knackered old homeless Irishmen, upon which Jim Broadbent's priest is quick to point out, the city of New York is built.

One of them stands and sings a beautiful Irish song, while we are are shown the cracked and weathered faces of the other old men, tired and steeped in loss.

This is a strong scene, and it’s one the film's trump cards. Another scene shows Ronan's pent up emotions reach fever pitch, and flow forth in a touching close up while she reads a letter from her sister, back home on the Emerald Isle. 

These are the saving graces of Brooklyn. They are much-needed, and they buoy the film. They pump a fresh air of charm and humanity into something that could easily sink into a wishy washy melancholic slush.

And the film so very nearly does. Credit to the filmmakers then, who manage to reel in the audience, making them care about another Irish immigrant story. 

Brooklyn (12A) is out November 6.

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