Ronan's best roles
Saoirse Ronan announced her talent in Joe Wright's big-budget adaptation of Ian McEwan's wartime novel (right). Saoirse played Briony Tallis, a troubled 13-year-old girl whose tragic misunderstanding of her older sister's love life leads to all sorts of trouble. Her performance was widely praised, and earned her an Oscar nomination.
The Lovely Bones (2009)
Peter Jackson's psychological drama was a bit of a mess, but virtually every critic who attacked it also singled out Saoirse for particular praise. She was compelling as Susie Salmon, a spirited teenage girl who's murdered by a serial killer midway through the film and watches from heaven as her family copes with the aftermath.
Ronan took on her first real action role in Joe Wright's stylish 2011 action thriller, and was absolutely believable as Hanna, an unsocialised teenage girl who's been raised in the wilds of Finland by her dad and trained as an expert assassin before being unleashed on the world to wreak havoc. Which she duly does.
A few mis-steps
Andrew Niccol's recent fantasy The Host was based on a Stephenie Meyer novel and meant to be the new Twilight, but was panned by the critics. The film lacked pace and focus, and left Ronan to wander stunned through the wreckage. But she was still the best thing in it.
And a dodgy script exposes her again in Byzantium, where she plays a vampire who does too much moping and not enough biting. PAUL WHITINGTON