The film is quite lovely. It's not quite so ravishing or melodramatic as to make one swoon, but I kinda like that about it. It's simply a classically told, beautifully made romance filled with sincere, expressive performances. Saoirse Ronan's star turn as a timid immigrant turned savvy woman about town should have no problem finding awards love this season, but here's hoping the treasure that is Julie Walters doesn't go entirely forgotten. She's absolutely dandy as an ornery boardinghouse matron, and leaves a more lasting impression than her relatively little screen time would suggest. This is the sort of role that aught to be recognized in Supporting Actress nominations (not co-leading ladies posing as supporting players to avoid internal competition).
The whole thing -- nicely directed by John Crowley -- flows very gracefully. Nick Hornby has a way of distilling the spirit of his source text and channeling it into succinct, visually astute scenes. After having been passed over for what was last year's finest adapted screenplay, here's hoping the writers branch of the Academy can atone.