I recently caught up with the Joe Wright film Hanna starring Saoirse Ronan. When a talented young actress doesn’t achieve her potential it is a real shame. How can we overcome the dearth of good roles for women when there are few good actresses available to have played them? The tailspin which ended Lindsay Lohan’s career when she hit the drink and cocaine took away another promising opportunity.
It was impossible to ignore Saoirse Ronan in Atonement. Her performance was so assured and her character set in motion the series of events which so deeply affected McAvoy and Knightley. Seeing that young actress continue to deliver great performances is hugely encouraging. She made Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones a truly captivating experience. But Hanna is a role that shocks and engages you so much you end up hoping that her agent can continue finding roles like this.
In the same vein as Carrie, Hanna is a young girl brought up in very unconventional circumstances who embraces horror and uses it to her own ends. For such a young child to be capable of such feats seems unbelievable but Ronan gives Hanna an icy, detached quality that would leave you uneasy if you didn’t also spot the chinks in her armour.
Tentatively making a friend, for the first time, Hanna shows the child within and it’s almost hard to reconcile that she’s the same person who so chillingly delivers the movie’s final line, echoing the icy desolate landscape in which she opened the film with the very same line.