Saoirse Ronan and Kevin Macdonald to Show Us ‘How I Live Now’

Saoirse Ronan has been through a big couple of years, despite being such a young actress, the highlights of which have probably been her breakout performance in the period (time, not menstrual) thriller Atonement, and her starring role in Joe Wright’s slick assassin movie Hanna. Despite such lofty accomplishments, it’s starting to look like 2012 is going to be her biggest year yet. She’s currently filming a Neil Jordan movie called Byzantium, she co-stars in recent festival assassin flick called Violet & Daisy, and she’s also set to star in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s non-Twilight young adult novel The Host. Sounds like the girl has a busy schedule, but somehow she’s managed to squeeze another project in.

Variety is reporting that the budding young starlet has now signed to head the next film by Kevin Macdonald (the guy who made The Last King of Scotland, not the Kids in the Hall guy, that’s Kevin McDonald), How I Live Now. This one is also an adaptation of a novel about young people, but decidedly less creature filled and much more war torn than Meyer’s book. “How I Live Now” was written by Meg Rosoff, and Amazon describes its plot as such:

“Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.”

The screenplay has been written by Tony Grisoni of Red Riding Trilogy fame and Jeremy Brock, who wrote The Last King of Scotland for Macdonald previously, so it sounds like there are talented people working on getting this one to the screen on all levels. I haven’t completely loved any film I’ve seen Ronan in yet, but I have completely loved every performance I’ve seen from her so far; so I’ve got high hopes that this is the project that could rocket her into the upper echelon of young actresses. Or at least I hope it’s not weird and lame, what with all that secret eden of no adults talk; that sounds like it could get annoying.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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