Among the eight movies nominated for a Best Picture Oscar this year – The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight – there is one that stands out above the rest for featuring locations that we’d actually like to visit. While The Revenant showcases the harsh realities of the wilderness and Mad Max: Fury Road’s desert setting makes your mouth dry, Brooklyn’s 1950s era NYC and Ireland are warm and inviting. We can’t travel back in time but we can visit a few of the international filming locations featured in the movie about an Irish immigrant, played by Saoirse Ronan, who finds love after arriving in Brooklyn and must choose between her home country and a life in a new land.
Surprisingly, very little of Brooklyn was actually filmed in Brooklyn. The majority of the movie was filmed in Montreal, with three weeks spent in Ireland and just a mere two days spent shooting on location in NYC.
Here’s a look at the best Brooklyn filming locations in Montreal, New York and County Wexford, Ireland.
Montreal stood in for 1950s NYC, including the boarding house where Ronan’s character, Eilis, finds lodging in the real life Memorial Chapter House of Montreal’s Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, on Stanley St. Located near McGill University, Stanley St makes for a good walk with several restaurants, shops and hotels along the five block stretch. Ronan talked about her time filming there saying, “We shot in McGill, which was gorgeous. It was great. I had a really nice time there.”
The only scenes actually shot in Brooklyn were all filmed around Coney Island. Even if you don’t live in NYC, Coney Island is worth the trek from Manhattan, at least once. The park’s most famous attraction, the Wonder Wheel, has been featured in everything from Mr. Robot to Beyonce’s XO video. Coney Island is best in the summer, but it has a certain charm in the off season, and the off hours. The last time we were there, a few months ago, it was early in the morning but we were still able to get a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog (without the usual wait) and watch vendors along the boardwalk set up shop for the day. A nice reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle. Find out more about Coney Island at coneyisland.com.
Finally, among the locations that were used during filming in Enniscorthy Co Wexford, Ireland was The Athenaeum, which was a dance hall in the 1950s and is featured in the Colm Tóibín book that the movie is based on.
Find out if Brooklyn wins the Academy Award when the show airs live on ABC on Sunday.