It’s a good day for Team Brooklyn. The romantic drama about a 1950s Irish immigrant torn between two men and two countries was nominated for Best Picture, Irish-American talent Saoirse Ronan for Best Actress, and English writer Nick Hornby for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Naturally, John Crowley, the Irish director behind the Sundance film that also stars Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson, is thrilled. “I’m delighted for the film, for Saoirse,” he says. “I’m thrilled that Nick’s been acknowledged. It’s wonderful, it’s an incredible moment. Who would have ever thought that a film like this would wind up being in [the] race?”
Film like this?
“It’s a smaller film, which isn’t loud, splashy,” he says. “It depends on an audience having an emotional connection with a quiet drama and it wasn’t easy to get made. We didn’t have a huge budget and it [couldn’t] be made within the studio system. It had to be made independently, and yet we wanted to make the right film of it with the right production values and the right look and feel.”
Brooklyn seems to have really resonated with audiences, something Crowley partially attributes to the way it addresses the issue of leaving home. Beyond that, Crowley, whose other credits include Boy A and Intermission, thinks the film’s nominations mark a big step for Irish filmmaking.
“It’s a huge moment between Brooklyn and Room being acknowledged in the Academy this way, and of course another movie, which didn’t make the nominations, Viva by Paddy Breathnach — but it’s a great moment,” Crowley explains. “It feels like there’s a fresh, younger energy about the industry and hopefully they’ll be more coming along in our wake.”
As for other Emerald Isle nods, Room, an Irish-Canadian film, was nominated for Best Picturer, Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson for Best Director, and Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue for Best Adapted Screenplay. Additionally, German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender was nominated for Best Actor for his turn as the title tech wiz in Steve Jobs.
Crowley concludes, “It would be nice to think that events like this will make people wake up a little bit more, but who knows.”