Saoirse Ronan is one of the most talented and exciting young actresses around and returns to the big screen this week with her new film Brooklyn.

Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan

Brooklyn has been winning over critics and audiences since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of 2015 and Ronan's central performance has been winning rave reviews.

The actress is tipped to be in the Oscar race for her work in what would be the first Best Actress Oscar nomination of her career. To celebrate the release of the film, we take a look at some of Ronan's best movies and performances.

- Atonement (2007)

Hard to believe that it was back in 2007 when Atonement hit the big screen and it really was one of the best films of that year. While it was not the first time that Ronan had been on the big screen, Atonement was the movie that put her on the acting map.

Atonement was a big screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan and saw Joe Wright in the director's chair for only the second feature film of his career.

Ronan took on the role of thirteen year old Briony Tallis, a wannabe writer who lives a carefree and privileged life in 1953. But when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime that she didn't commit, she puts all three lives on a different course... with disastrous consequences.

Ronan only features in the first part of the film - we see three different actresses take on the role at different ages - but it is Ronan that really shines. She captures the manipulative and deceitful aspects of this character perfectly - hard to believe that she was so young when she landed this role.

Atonement was one of the best films of 2007 as it Wright mixed drama and romance with the horrors of World War II. It is a sweeping epic that was as powerful as it was visually stunning.

Ronan grabbed everyone's attention as young Briony and she picked up a Best Supporting Actress nomination of her work. It was her first - and so far only - Oscar nod of her career.


- The Way Back (2010)

In 2010, Ronan returned to the big screen as part of the ensemble cast of The Way Back. The movie was based on the memoir of former Polish prisoner of war Slawomir Rawicz who escaped from a Soviet Gulag and saw Peter Weir in the director's chair.

Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Gustaf Skarsgård, Alexandru Potocean, and Sebastian Urzendowsky take on the central roles of Janusz, Mr Smith, Valka, Voss Thomasz, Zoran, and Kazik, who all escape a Gulag deep in Siberia and face a long trek to freedom. Along the way, they meet Irena, a young woman whose parents were killed.

The Way Back is an true ensemble movie that is an emotionally involving watch from start to finish. It really is a very compelling drama as all of these characters have faced the horrors of war and have battled to survive.

This is a story about desperation, determination, and the will to survive and Weir and his co have captured and portrayed that perfectly. All of the characters have endured and suffered in different ways and so each character really does bring some individual and different to this story.

As well as being packed with wonderful performances from the likes of Sturgess, Harris, and Ronan, the movie also looks stunning. It is just so wonderfully photographed as Weir captures the beauty and the harshness of the environment that surrounded his central characters.

The Way Back marked the first time that Ronan had worked with filmmaker Weir and it proved to be a very successful collaboration.

The Way Back

- Hanna (2011)

In 2011 Ronan reunited with director Wright for their second project together, which came four years after their success with Atonement... however, this was a very different project for both actress and filmmaker.

This was the first time that we had seen Ronan take on an action role and this was the biggest lead role of her career so far. Needless to say, she thrived as she took on the title role in the film.

The movie follows Hanna, a sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Hanna is a fast-paced and action-packed movie from start to finish that never really allows the audience to stop and take a breath. It is a unique and interesting take on the revenge thriller and Ronan is simply brilliant - showing that she can be an action star as well as a great dramatic actress.

Of course, there is an incredible strength, ability, and fighting instinct and yet, there is something incredibly vulnerable about this young girl who just wants to know who she is and where she comes from. Ronan finds the perfect balance between these two different aspects of Hanna's character.

For me, it was great to see Ronan really spread her acting wings and show a very different side to herself as a performer - it goes without saying that she achieved this 100%. In fact, I would like to see take on more roles like this.


- The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

We didn't see too much of Ronan on the big screen in 2014, but one of the films that she did star in was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year.

The Grand Budapest Hotel saw Ronan work with filmmaker Wes Anderson for the first time, while Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Jude Law, and Bill Murray were just some of the great names that come together to make an impressive ensemble cast.

This was the first feature for Anderson since Moonrise Kingdom back in 2012 and followed Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was one of the ensemble movies of 2014 with all the cast delivering wonderful performances and Ronan holds her own well amongst the more experienced actors around her.

While The Grand Budapest Hotel may not be to everyone's taste, I found it to be an entertaining, compelling, and funny watch that was unlike anything else that we saw on the big screen last year. Anderson is one of the less conventional filmmakers in Hollywood and he really did outdo himself with this movie.

The movie went on to be nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture. It went on to scoop four; Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, and Production Design.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Other Saoirse Ronan movies that are worth check out, include Byzantium, How I Live Now, and The Lovely Bones.

Brooklyn is out now.

by for
find me on and follow me on