This is a good movie year, for me.

At the very least, I find myself fortunate that, for all the things that may be happening this year, I find islands of escape in new movies that touch, amuse, awe or excite me. Yay, world!

Hanna is one such movie.  It feels like a fairytale, with action movie elements.  Plus one dash of music video-ness, and a pinch of Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. (The official movie site isn’t too bad either.)

Saoirse Ronan might be key to the magical feeling though.  Her face is just so..otherwordli-ly (what an awkward word) beautiful in this movie.

via toblia.tumblr

Of course, I’m not sure if the movie is perfect; I was too immersed in it to care about whether the plot had holes in it.  Although I do know that I winced whenever Cate Blanchett’s inconsistently present Southern accent resurfaced after fading away.

I’m a sucker for movies where young girls train and devote their lives to an ideal, usually an aggressively physical one.  I think I love seeing the passion for craft and dedication.  The single-mindedness intermingled with a yearning for an outside life, while coldly focusing on strength-building. Yes – big, abstract words.

I just really like it.  The opening scenes that set-up her skills.  Wow.  I love the part where she arrives home, and is kind of sullen, but Erik quizzes her on the different languages she’s supposed to know.

I also love how the movie showcases some of the richest “street” culture in the world.  In fact, it never really showcases “glossy” city exteriors.  And I think that’s just great.  You have Morocco, Spain, Berlin – all focusing on back streets and fringe or mass culture.  Raw flamenco dance, dingy Moroccan inns, trailer parks, graffiti-ed up walls.  It was like a slice of the world through Hanna’s eyes.

I also like how the action sequences, though few, aren’t fancy-schmancy ones.  They’re just brawls or knife fights that are straightforward.

And, how can I forget, Hanna’s escape from detention. Wow. I loved that.  From the psych questioning, to her jumping into nooks and crannies in the blinking-light tube.  Seemed like an MTV, yes, but it had powerful visuals, and well, I guess that kind of running-like-hell-and-successfully-finding-a-way-out craftily is part of every little girl’s dream adventure (Unless, that’s just me.)

I just find the movie beautiful.  Not in a deep “look into the human condition” plot sense, but in a “wow, this looks good and makes me feel nice…” sense.  Inception can draw you in with its twisted fantasies, but Hanna is quiet, like a fairytale.  It’s an action flick for chicks, if there ever was one (others in that list might be Fast Five, and Hitman – and this one is the prettiest of the bunch).  There’s no sex, no grand explosions.  Just a chase. And lost-ness, and sadness and cunning.  Tumblr-meets-grappling for the emo girl set.  I am going to get myself a copy, for nights when I want to relive her training and adventure.

Also, kudos to Shrine to Actors for a great review of Hanna!

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