Saoirse Ronan has given us some stunning performances over the years.

Turning 26 today, Saoirse Ronan already has four Oscar nominations under her belt. Her career kicked off with her stunning performance as Briony Tallis in 'Atonement' at the age of 12. From there her stardom shot up and up.

Since 2010, Ronan has starred in a variety of movies such as anime 'Arietty', action movie 'Hanna', romantic drama 'How I Live Now', and teen dystopia flick 'The Host'.

She got nominated for the Oscar for Best Lead Actress for both 'Brooklyn' and 'Lady Bird'. In the last couple of years, she has starred in two music videos (including Ed Sheeran's infamous 'Galway Girl') and five feature films.

These are what we think have been Ronan's best seven roles to date. Undoubtedly, the Irish actress has much more to come.

 

7. 'Hanna'

Saoirse Ronan proved that she makes a damn good action heroine in the film 'Hanna'. Alongside Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana, Ronan plays a 16 year-old raised by her father, an ex-CIA operative, to be the perfect assassin. Dispatched on a mission across Europe, Hanna is tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

 

6. 'Mary Queen of Scots'

The young actress took on her biggest historical role yet as the eponymous Mary Queen of Scots. The film tracks Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, eventually leading to her execution. Ronan stars opposite Margot Robbie in the film, a year after the two went head-to-head for the Best Lead Actress Oscar.

 

5. 'The Lovely Bones'

Saoirse Ronan's heart-breaking performance as Susie Salmon was crucial to 'The Lovely Bones'. Directed by Peter Jackson of 'The Lord of the Rings' fame, the movie sees Susie watch over her family from purgatory after she is murdered. Stanley Tucci is the other big star of the movie, playing Susie's murderer Harvey.

 

4. 'Brooklyn'

Ronan embodied the immigrant experience to perfection in the 2015 drama 'Brooklyn'. Though her character loves her new life in 1950s Brooklyn after moving there for work, she still feels close ties to the home country of Ireland which she left behind. 'Brooklyn' has this classic Hollywood feel that is just irresistible, with Ronan epitomising the classical Hollywood star.

 

3. 'Little Women'

Saoirse Ronan plays Jo March in 'Little Women' and recently earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Jo would be up there with Elizabeth Bennett as one of literature's most iconic female characters, so it was no easy task filling those shoes. Ronan is exquisite in the part, capturing the many facets of Jo's persona including her fun-loving personality, devotion to family, and vulnerability when it comes to matters of the heart.

 

2. 'Atonement'

While her role was limited to the film's first act, Ronan makes such an impression as the pre-teen Briony that you feel the actress's presence throughout. 'Atonement' is based on a novel by Ian McEwan (Ronan would later star in another McEwan adaptation, 'On Chesil Beach'). It sees Briony falsely accuse her sister's (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy) of a terrible crime. This one act causes all three of their lives to be utterly changed forever.

 

1. 'Lady Bird'

If you found Ronan's character in 'Lady Bird' irritiating, it's only because she pulls off being a teenager on the cusp of adulthood so damn well. The actress plays a student going through her last year of school before heading to college. Growing pains include fights with her mum (the brilliant Laurie Metcalf) and disappointments in love (the also brilliant Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet). Plus there's the whole dawning realisation that the world doesn't revolve around her. It's like watching your own life flash before your eyes.