The country is called the Emerald Isle, but the dominant colors in Enniscorthy, Ireland, are mossy brown, gunmetal gray, and a light, piercing blue. That blue isn't from the sky, which hangs low with the same unrelenting gloom as everything else, but from the eyes of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a modest and humble teenager who shoulders the grim burden of her provincial life without complaint -- early mass on Sunday mornings, followed by work as a shopkeeper's assistant, followed by a frosty late lunch with her widowed mother (Jane Brennan) and unmarried older sister Rose (Fiona Glascott). The adults in town flavor every social interaction with covert hostility, manipulation, and shaming, and blameless Eilis is so cowed by her culture that she doesn't even flinch from their withering attention. Only Rose sees the way out: Not for herself, but for her younger sister, whom she informs that she's made arrangements to travel to the United States and take a job in a Brooklyn department store. Director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby have adapted Colm Tóibín's acclaimed historical coming-of-age novel for the screen, mostly by suffusing it with an amber glow of nostalgia so relentlessly luminous it could set off a Geiger counter. The New York Eilis travels to has never seen rats, dust, or cigarette butts -- instead, it's populated by glamorously lipsticked American women, noble brownstones, and sweet Italian charmers like Tony (Emory Cohen), a local plumber who picks up Eilis at a dance he attends solely because he prefers Irish gals. He buys her cotton candy at Coney Island, brings her home for pasta with his loud and bighearted family, and can't help but drop hints about marriage. The predictable fly in the ointment is bad news from home, which means Eilis must travel back for a stay she promises Tony will be brief. It's there that she remembers what she's lost -- the familiar sights of her hometown, her friends, the empty, windswept beaches, the heartsick mysticism of being Irish that floats in the ether around her. There's a young man (Domhnall Gleeson) who takes a fancy to her, but when she lays her head on his tweed blazer while they're dancing, her faraway gaze reveals that she's trying to embrace Ireland, not him. Saoirse Ronan has never given a bad performance, and here she is once again sincere, lovely, and incapable of showing off for the camera. Only the most hard-hearted of viewers could resist sharing Eilis' pain and loneliness as a foundling in a strange land, or her elation as her world opens up with first love. But no matter how skilled the cast or squintingly incandescent the cinematography, a story about a young woman who must choose between two destinies -- as embodied by two suitors -- is nothing special. Brooklyn passes in front of the eyes, yanks hard on the heartstrings, sings a few lines of "Danny Boy,"" and then falls out of the mind an hour later.