Movies are made to be seen. That much is obvious. Sometimes, though, directors and actors have to wait an excruciatingly long time to show their movie to a willing audience – when can be incredibly painful when you know the movie you are sitting on is great.
John Crowley’s immigrant song, Brooklyn, played to raves at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Fox Searchlight bought the beautiful love story for $9 million, and started prepping it for a prestigious Awards run. Then? Nothing. Radio silence. So when I sat down with Brooklyn star Saoirse Ronan ahead of the film’s screening at the Savannah Film Festival, I asked her how hard it is to sit on a movie when a festival audience has let you know that it’s good. She told me:
You actually kind of feel like the reaction isn’t going to be as strong [when people eventually see it]. Because you think… you don’t want to just be a one-hit wonder, you know? And so TIFF [the Toronto International Film Festival] was nerve-racking for us because we wanted to get the same sort of reaction.
My hunch is that Ronan will continue to talk about Brooklyn for the foreseeable future. Crowley has crafted a tender, bittersweet but universal story of change and adaptation, of living and loving. And Saoirse Ronan leads a heartwarming cast in a film that I think will touch a number of older Academy members, enough to help the movie contend in the major categories.
Here’s where I think the Oscar contenders sit on October 26:
The Dark Horses