Saoirse Ronan also earned her first Academy Award nomination. In her current film, Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones," Ronan is earning raves for her role as murdered teen Susie Salmon, the film's narrator, even if the film is not.
At just 15, Ronan, whose first name is pronounced "Seer-sha," is likely to be around for a while. Next up, Peter Weir's "The Way Back," in which she'll no doubt hold her own against Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.
"She's on the younger end of the spectrum, which means she has a lot of time and can play both teenage roles and move into young adult roles," Kilday said. "She's already established her credentials within the industry. Now she's building up a public persona in terms of film audiences."