In Very Good Girls, rising stars Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning play best friends who fall for the same guy.
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4 Feb 2013 - 12:02 PM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2013 - 2:30 PM

There are some remarkable young actresses establishing themselves in feature films at the moment. In France, for example, there is 19-year-old Lola Creton, who was outstanding in Mia Hansen-Love's Goodbye First Love in 2011 and will next be seen in Something in the Air, a 1968-set drama from Carlos director Olivier Assayas, while in Hollywood 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence has gone from her flinty, defiant turn in the 2010 indie hit Winter's Bone to starring in The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook.

Two of Lawrence's contemporaries are 18-year-old Dakota Fanning and 22-year-old Elizabeth Olsen. The former is that rare thing, a former child star working steadily into adult roles as she transitions from the likes of Steve Spielberg's War of the Worlds to the rock-and-roll biopic The Runaways and some Twilight menace, while the latter seemed to appear fully formed with her dauntingly layered performance in 2011's cult drama Martha Marcy May Marlene and the romantic comedy Liberal Arts.

The pair will next star in the American independent coming of age tale Very Good Girls (pictured), where they will play best friends living in contemporary New York whose plans to lose their virginity in the summer following their graduation from high school come unstuck when they both fall for the same young man. The film co-stars Demi Moore (Margin Call), Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love) and Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan), and the director is veteran screenwriter Naomi Foner, the mother of Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, who previously penned Running on Empty and A Dangerous Woman.

Beyond that Fanning will work with one of the leading alternative American filmmakers, Kelly Reichardt, whose collaborations with Michelle Williams on 2008's Wendy and Lucy and 2010's Meek's Cutoff, suggested a distinctive talent exploring her homeland's margins and myths. With Night Moves (no connection to the fine 1975 Arthur Penn thriller with Gene Hackman of the same name), Reichardt will tell the contemporary tale of three environmentalists who plot to blow up a dam, with Fanning, Sarsgaard and Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as the trio of potential eco-terrorists.

Sparks fly with eco-anarchist
That topic, incidentally, is becoming a popular one: in The East, the new thriller from the team of American writer/director Zal Batmanglij and English writer/actor Brit Marling, who previously created the arresting low-budget sci-fi mystery Sound of My Voice, a young operative from a private security firm is tasked with infiltrating an eco-anarchist collective that is attacking corporations. Marling plays the agent, with her targets including Alexander Skarsgard (Melancholia), Ellen Page (Juno) and Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla).

World of Why?
And, finally, some cynicism. British filmmaker Duncan Jones made his debut with a telling piece of existential science-fiction in the form of 2009's Moon with Sam Rockwell. After that he retooled – and improved – the more conventional Hollywood sci-fi thriller Source Code, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Vera Farmiga. Now, however, he's setting to work on a film adaptation of the online video game World of Warcraft. The finished movie, if Jones gets that far, may well be revelatory, but it's not difficult to imagine something specious – especially if you've survived 2000's dreadful Dungeons & Dragons movie. What good will come of this?