Brooklyn

  • Director – John Crowley
  • Starring – Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
  • Writer – Colm Toibin (novel) Nick Hornby (screenplay)
  • Year – 2015
  • Running Time – 112 mins

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Home is where the heart is.

Over the last 15 years, I have had the immense good fortune of living in six different countries. At the start of this journey I was a young single man, and now as I look around at what seems to be our most permanent of recent destinations, I find myself married, mortgaged and with a young family. This journey has taught me many valuable lessons, though perhaps one more important than most, that home is where the heart is.

Throughout the early years of this journey, the distance came quite easily to me. Seized by the sense of adventure, I shamefully admit that thoughts rarely turned to home. I was grateful for the professional structures around me, which gave me a constant connection back to the UK, but also the reassuring knowledge that I was never more than three years away from a potentially permanent return. This travel lark was fun, but you know, it wasn’t forever.

As the years passed and locations changed, marriage and children brought me emotionally, though not physically, closer to the UK. Trips home were more regular as was the hosting of family visitors, who were finally happy that we were living in a country they actually wanted to visit.

However, after over a decade of living three years at a time, as a family, we felt the need for some permanence and an urge to put down some roots. We had a straight choice between the UK and Australia, though, in reality, it was a foregone conclusion. So we said a permanent goodbye to Blighty and boarded our latest and probably last long-haul flight for a while, and headed down under.

In my head, I had imagined the moment of arriving in Australia many times. I assumed it would be similar to all previous touchdowns in far-flung locations, a mixture of excitement and apprehension; however, this time was different. As the wheels squeaked into the Sydney sunshine, my first thought was ‘I’m a long way from home.’

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Wild

Wild

Wild

‘If nothing else, then at least the scenery should be nice’, was the phrase I overheard as I took my seat to watch Wild, an epic, true-life tale, of Cheryl Strayed’s (Reese Witherspoon) journey to conquer both the 1100 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail and her own self-destructive demons which drove her there in the first place.

The person who made this statement needn’t have worried, as Wild is so much more than scenery. It is a fiercely powerful tale of determination, self-reflection and the destructive dark side of relationships, which occasionally, only the healing nature of solitude and strangers can resolve.

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