Just one year ago, Debra Granik's 'Winter's Bone' screened at Sundance and threw star Jennifer Lawrence into the spotlight. Before it, she had four films to her name. Now, we've got four Lawrence-starring films to look forward to just this year, such as the controversy-tainted 'The Beaver'; her first big, mainstream gig as Mystique in 'X-Men: First Class'; plus a lot of awards buzz that includes Golden Globes and Indie Spirit nominations.

Fast-forward to 2011, and a new actress is taking the fest by storm. With her first two films -- 'Silent House' and 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' -- screening at Sundance, Elizabeth Olsen quickly became the It Girl of the festival, and not just because she's the little sister of infamous wonder twins Mary Kate and Ashley.

Now that buzz has led her straight to her next project, 'Red Lights.'
The Hollywood Reporter posts that Olsen has signed on for a starring role in 'Buried' filmmaker Rodrigo Cortes's 'Red Lights,' alongside Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy. She will play a student and assistant to Weaver's psychology professor as they investigate a world-renowned psychic (De Niro). Murphy will play her love interest, although that's "not a huge part of the story." It's also a role that reflects her own studies -- she's currently working on a psychology degree at NYU.

The younger sister of the twin mavens took a different course through life. As she recently told THR, she struggled with her desire to be an actor and the spotlight it threw on her sisters: "I was very nervous to actually work. I think that's why I focused so much on theater. I thought theater was a safer place because it's more free of media." And now, after reading "script after script" -- yes, she's that picky already -- she took to Cortes's piece.

Armed with an ongoing education, a theater careeer and two buzzed-about Sundance films, the Hollywood oyster should open up to her just as it did with Lawrence. However, it might take a while to get a slew of new roles, as she swears school is still her first priority. Although, a killer film or three can easily change that priority, as it often does. Especially for an actress whose second film role has her acting in a thriller in one continuous shot.
categories Movies, Cinematical