Hanna. A preteen girl is raised all her life in the wilderness to kill. She is tiny. She is cute. She is lethal. And one day, she decides she is ready.
Tarantino-esque characters, a wild score, and Joe Wright (at his most experimental to date) come together to craft what is generally a cult, underground, under appreciated kind of film into an Oscar Movie Director’s best work. It’s alive. It’s moving. It’s more movie then you paid for. You should have paid twice. Leave ten bucks on your seat when the name comes up (and you notice the A’s look like drawn houses…) at the very end of the movie. Joe Wright, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander and even a little bit of Eric Bana to the psychedelic sounds of The Chemical Brothers make a perfectly balanced assassination and coming of age flick.
Unpretentious. Endearing. Exciting. Memorable. Stylish. It does not tread any boundaries with excessive violence or gore, nor with any obvious underage scenarios. For a movie about a kid, it’s surprisingly mature, and it’s handlers were surprisingly far more focused on that then shocking audiences, instead at the ready to please. It’s insane cinematography, coupled with insane editing, all with an insane score on top make what at first glance is a choppy, ADD riddled mess, a harmonious, composed work of pop-art. An art-film director, famous for making 3 movies that were increasingly more Oscar bait each time (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Soloist), Steps back, and literally has a conversation with his audiences. Hanna is the rare instance where I really felt like the director was speaking to me with his movie. This wasn’t a contract job that had to be done before he could do what he wanted, this was an intriguing idea that made Joe Wright stand up and say “I’m going to own this script”. It was all his when it was done, and I applaud you Joe. Atonement was cool, but only after this are you on my radar.
This is Joe Wright. His other stuff was good, by oscar committee standards. This movie is just plain old good. It transcends academies and elitists… it’s bigger then an award and red carpet, Hollywood royalty and big money for producers. This is the kind of movie where multi-nominated actresses (like Blanchett) will say was their favorite when she’s old and reflecting on all her accomplishments. This is a movie with personality, character, and intent. This is exactly the movie it was supposed to be.