There are a lot of things that I want to share my love for with regards to Joe Wright's Hanna - Cate Blanchett's teeth-sucking mama goblin; The Chemical Bros' ear-jangling score; the surprising revelation of Eric Bana in dripping wet long-johns (which yes, the moment I can screen-cap this spectacle believe me I will be all up on it); Tom Hollander's Fassbenderian little piggy performance which overjoyed me at every turn - but for once instead of jumping all over the side-shows I want to give center-stage its due.
Cuz ya know what? Saoirse Ronan is the real deal. I know, I know, where have you been, JA? She's been knocking it outta the park since day one. It's not that I've ever disliked her in anything - she's terrific in the horrible Atonement, and centered the mess that was The Lovely Bones as much as she could with palpable heartache. But what she gives us here is so different, so odd and playful and terrifying, and yet so still and very very sad all at once, that now I'm paying attention where before I was sort of indifferent. Where this could've easily drifted off into the facile camp of Kick-Ass she and Wright keep it grounded even amongst the Grimm-riddled oddities. Who'd have thought that the middle section, relatively action-free, with Hanna getting to see what a real family unit is like would end up the highlight, the passage you don't want to let go off? And yet of course that's what it ought to be. (Having Olivia Williams at the center certainly helps making it something to yearn for.)
Alright so let's get back to the fun freak-show stuff, of which this movie indulges itself mightily. Why do I adore Tom Hollander so much? I do, I just do! Ever since he romped around in his red underpants in In The Loop I've been nursing a crush on him and now he had to go and add an insane queer creep who hangs out with hermaphrodites and costumed dwarfs in some underground club that would've scared Rainer Werner Fassbender away and dresses in Funny Games tennis whites (looking quite dashing in them short shorts too, I might add)? I'm putty in his tiny creepy hands.
And then there's Cate Blanchett, looking like the most gorgeous prop skeleton you've ever wanted to play dress-up with, flicking her teeth with her tongue and striding with haughty purpose in pencil skirts, her Southern drawl licking the consonants of her German... oh what a monstrous joy worthy of seventeen run-on sentences of this sort.