Tuesday 20 February 2018

'Saoirse from the block' - Saoirse Ronan charms New York with Critics Circle award acceptance speech

Saoirse Ronan and author Colm Toibin at New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Saoirse Ronan and author Colm Toibin at New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

IT was 'another day, another accolade' for Saoirse Ronan as she moved one step closer to a coveted Oscar nomination.

The Carlow native picked up the Best Actress gong at the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle in Manhattan on Monday night. Ronan (21) was recognised for her role in the movie adaptation of Colm Toibin's novel 'Brooklyn', directed by John Crowley.

Ronan, who was born in the Bronx and lived there until she was three, praised her parents' courage for moving to the city in her acceptance speech.

She was presented with the award by Liam Neeson, and joked on stage that she was called 'Saoirse from the Block' by her friends.

"I'm one of you! I am from the Bronx, after all. 'Saoirse from the Block' is what they call me," she joked, referring to Jennifer Lopez's 2002 hit single 'Jenny from the Block'.

"Now, go back to eating your dessert," Ronan added.

The glitzy ceremony was also attended by Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart who picked up the Best Supporting Award for her role in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'.

Scooping the Best Actress award is a promising omen for Ronan; the NYFCC prizes are the oldest and most esteemed awards handed out by film critics in the US.

For many working in the film industry, it is considered something of an Oscar precursor - with winners often racing to glory in the Academy Awards.

This week, Oscar voters will turn in their nomination ballots, with the shortlist being announced on January 14. An Oscar nomination would be Ronan's second; she was nominated at the age of 13 in the Best Supporting Actress category for her depiction of fledgling writer Briony Tallis in 2007 film 'Atonement'.

'Brooklyn', which tells the story of Eilis, a young Wexford woman who emigrates to the United States to better her life, has performed well at the box office both at home and abroad. 'Brooklyn' has taken over €20m in the US and €2.6m in Ireland.

With 'awards season' kicking off this week, Ronan already has several impressive awards under her belt.

She received the Best Actress award at the Moet British Independent Film Awards, and last week was awarded an International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in California.

She is also nominated for another Best Actress award at this weekend's Golden Globes. Ronan will go head to head with Alicia Vikander for 'The Danish Girl', Brie Larson for her performance in Emma Donoghue's 'Room', Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who are both nominated for 'Carol'.

Road to the Oscars

January 26, 2015: 'Brooklyn' premieres at the Sundance Film Festival and is met with rave reviews.

November 4, 2015: 'Brooklyn' opens in Ireland.

December 6, 2015: Saoirse wins Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards.

December 10, 2015: Saoirse is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress.

January 4, 2016: Saoirse wins Best Actress at the New York Critics Circle Awards.

January 10, 2016: Golden Globes take place.

January 14, 2016: Oscar nominations announced.

February 28, 2016: The 88th Academy Awards take place in Hollywood.

Irish Independent

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