Carol and Brooklyn

Once upon a time in my life I used to go to the movies quite frequently. In high school and college it wasn’t unusual for me to go almost every week. Then life got busier and tv shows got much better. Now I tend to prefer watching tv to movies. In general if I don’t manage to see a movie in the theater than I’m not ever going to see it. That being said I still only usually go to the movies a handful of times every year at this point.Thus the fact that I’ve gone to two movies in the first five days of 2016 is kind of crazy.

Sunday my friend Karen and I went to see Carol. It takes place in the 1950s and stars Cate Blanchett as a housewife in the midst of a divorce with her husband played by Kyle Chandler. She meets Therese, a young shop girl played by Rooney Mara, with whom she strikes up a relationship. I won’t go into any more detail than that since that’s basically what I knew about the film going in. The story went in a direction that I wasn’t quite anticipating. It’s a much more subdued and tortured film than I was anticipating. It was lovely nonetheless.

Then last night I went to see Brooklyn with a bunch of friends. I adored the book by Colm Toibin that the movie is based on and even had the pleasure of meeting the author and hearing him talk about when he gave a lecture at my library. Based on timing I didn’t think I was going to make it out to see this film in theater, so I’m happy it stuck around long enough that I got to see it.

It too was a very lovely film set in the 1950s. Saoirse Ronin plays Eilis a young Irish girl who emigrates alone to America where she builds a life until a family tragedy draws her back to Ireland. The movie is really well adapted from the book. It’s been years since I read it, so any changes at this point were lost on me. The overall large plot points that I remember and the overall feeling of the novel have been retained.

Of the two films Brooklyn is the one with wider appeal. There is a lot more humor in it as well as other things that elicit emotion. It was a beautiful movie. As the woman sitting in front of me said, “I’m not ready for it to be over yet. Can we just stay and watch the next showing?”

If either of these movies sound like they would be your thing I high recommend them both.

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