5 Critically Acclaimed Films Of Saoirse Ronan That Speak Volumes About Her Craft

Saoirse Ronan critically acclaimed films

When counting the list of accolades won by a young artist, one often compares the length of the list with the age of the artist. Saoirse Ronan is one of those artists who will always have that list in contrast to her age. As a child actor, she had already bagged Academy Awards nomination with Joe Wright’s Atonement and later went on to do become part of many such cinematic masterpieces. She is one of those actors who if cast in an unsuccessful film, the critics blame the makers for underutilising her talent. The actor is soon to be cast in Wes Anderson’s French Dispatch was also part of his iconic film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Whether its the main lead role or a supporting one, Ronan hardly ever fails to dazzle the audience. Here are five of her most critically acclaimed films that speak volumes about her versatile and informed talent of acting:

The Lovely Bones

Ronan plays the role of a 14-year-old who is raped and murdered by her neighbour next door. The narrative of the film instead of fixating on gruesome realities of rape chooses to highlight what happens after it. The supernatural genre of the film plays an important role in making the muffled screams of a little girl heard by people. Her spirit hardly makes us forget her story and when she finally disappears into the oblivion, she leaves us all feeling a little empty. While playing the role of the girl, Susie Salmon, Ronan is successful in conveying her pain and her innocence in a very organic form. Her performance in the film won her a Critics Choice Award for Best Young Performer and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film is an adaptation of a novel of the same name written by Alice Sebold.

Little Women

Many of us have grown up picturing Jo March of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in different forms. As the book has been adapted several times by many filmmakers, many female actors have brought the character to life on screen. However, Greta Gerwig’s adaption of the book released last year made it really difficult to see Jo March any different from Saoirse Ronan in the film. She not only embodies the free-spirited and imaginative writer but also puts forth her implicit anger. Her anger about the state of women in that society, her anger towards her younger self and so many things she blames herself for. The new adaptation has not added anything new the Alcott’s masterpiece, rather it has tried to give faces and dialogues to the actual body of the text. It got six Academy Awards nomination in 2019 including a Best Actress nomination for Saoirse Ronan. Critics Choice Awards for Best Screenplay and a Golden Globes Award nominations were also bagged by the film.


Another cinematic masterpiece by Greta Gerwig starring Saoirse Ronan, Ladybird, tells the story of a teenage girl on a journey of self-discovery. Ronan reclaims the awkward-girl-in-high-school trope and showcases the young passion one is often guilty of in adulthood. Her complicated relationship with her mother and the sense of home is relatable to many. Ronan really helps the protagonist bring out her best and the worst. She is driven to fulfil her dreams which are often borrowed from television and books and she does everything wrong or right to achieve them. Well, at least she gets started on a journey to achieve them. The film is based has also been called an autobiography of the director Greta Gerwig who grew up Sacramento, the small-town where the story is based in. Saoirse won an award for the Best Actress at Golden Globes for the role along with a nomination at the Academy Awards. The also featured in Time magazine’s best films of the year list in 2019.


The versatile acting talent of Saoirse Ronan can be seen in the way she plays serious roles with the same ease as she plays the playful ones. Her character in Brooklyn is a girl who has set sail from Irland, to earn a living in New York City. The plot very delicately expresses the relief one feels after escaping a jam-packed ship basement and a small island filled with judgemental people. Even though Ronan’s character Eilis Lacey loves her hometown and her mother, she admits that she will never be happy there. The nervous excitement of moving into a whole new city, falling in love with a stranger, working in a fancy establishment is all captured with great honesty and thanks to Ronan we never wonder what the protagonist is thinking about. Even when she not vocal about her dilemma, she expresses it with just one twitch of her lips. Brooklyn also won several prestigious nominations for Saoirse and also won her critics choice awards.


 Joe Wright’s Atonement is the first film that made the audiences aware of Saoirse Ronan’s craft. Even though the film heavily rests on Keira Knightly and James McAvoy shoulders, Ronan’s character Briony Tallis becomes the anchor, villain and one of the many people scathed by the events in the story. As a teenage girl who aspires to become a writer, the Ronan plays that annoying little sister who can’t mind her own business. Her innocence and her ill-informed teenage can’t really be blamed for. It is almost incredible to watch Ronan perfectly evoke feelings as intense as guilt, shame and vengeance and yet none of it seem second-hand emotions directed by an adult. Briony Tallis now has a face, a voice and it will never be anything different from Ronan’s.