Hanna (Wright, 2011)
This review contains slight spoilers.
I love it when an action movie transcends the genre. Saoirse Ronan is proving she is one of the best young actresses in the business. She successfully portrays the persona of teen assassin while coming across as a confused adolescent just as realistically. The film is actually full of tender, poetic moments – some flashbacks, some moments of contemplative bliss, some sweetly ignorant awkward teen moments – all filmed through the always-ethereal lens of Alwin Kuchler (who just keeps rising on my favorite cinematographers list).
We also get the pleasure of watching Joe Wright successfully tell a story. Instead of wasting our time with a twist ending, he gives us all the facts from the start. Hanna is hunting down her mother’s killer – period. Her mother’s killer propagates a different story, but we aren’t left wafting in the wind as to who to believe. We see the killing happen in one of the aforementioned flashbacks (perhaps the most beautiful murder scene ever?) and, as a result, we know the characters are who they are throughout the entire film. Then, we are treated to a nice combination of revenge thriller and coming of age story. Impressive. 9/10