It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a TIFF preview, and I don’t know how many of these I’ll be able to squeeze in before the festival starts, but this morning’s press conference contained some exciting stuff and I’d like to stir up a little excitement (even if just for myself) ahead of September.
One unusual announcement was the appearance of John Crowley’s Brooklyn which premiered at Sundance way back at the beginning of the year. It looked familiar because, of course, I was at Sundance but I never got to see it. Lots to love in the trailer that was shown. It’s the story of an Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) who arrives in New York in the 1950s, falls in love, and then goes back to Ireland for a funeral, and falls in love again. Based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, and with a screenplay by Nick Hornby, it’s sure to have a cracking script. And the casting is great, too. Ronan impresses in everything she’s in, but this also features Domhnall Gleason, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters.
I was actually fortunate enough to meet Saoirse Ronan backstage in 2013. I was working as a venue liaison at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (look for me there again this year!) and she was here with How I Live Now. She impressed me with her professionalism and low-maintenance style (no heels!), and we chatted about Ireland. I mentioned I was born in Dublin and she wanted to know in what neighbourhood. She introduced me to her father and uncle, who were traveling with her, and we had a really nice talk. Not only is she a great actor, but she has no celebrity ego at all. What I just discovered is that she was actually born in New York City to Irish parents, who took her back to Ireland when she was three years old. So this film must have a special resonance for her and her family.
I’m hopeful this will screen at my venue, so I can meet her again, but regardless, I’m going to add Brooklyn to my list of must-sees at this year’s TIFF.