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'Hanna' Rests on Ronan's Narrow Shoulders

6:00 PM, Apr 11, 2011 • By EMILY SCHULTHEIS
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Kelly Jane Torrance reviews Joe Wright's new movie, Hanna:

Films are sometimes described as "vehicles" for the big names that headline them. "Arthur," the remake of the 1981 film that opened this weekend, was made simply to showcase the outsize personality of Russell Brand. It's not often a film looks like a vehicle for a young, relatively new talent -- let alone one with a name few Americans can even pronounce.

But Saoirse Ronan isn't the typical child star. She astonished with the maturity she brought to the central role of Briony in 2007's "Atonement" -- enough to garner an Oscar nomination -- in which she was cast when she was just 12 years old. The American-born, Irish-raised actress can handle any accent, often more convincingly than the vets. She donned an American one for 2009's "The Lovely Bones," in which she played a murdered girl watching her family cope with the tragedy. Now 16, she's proven she can carry a film on her own. "Hanna" wouldn't have been convincing with any other star in the title role.

Read the whole thing here.

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