Earlier this week Emilia Clarke came to Cannes to promote her auto-pilot role (Qi’ra, adventurous love interest of Alden Ehrenreich) in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Anyone would have done the same thing in her shoes. Smart move, paycheck payoff, franchise fame, blah blah.

But it still feels ironic that Clarke went to so much promotional effort over a role and a performance that is overwhelmingly flat and lacking in intrigue when she gave a much, much better performance and in support of a far richer and better-written character in Phillip Noyce‘s Above Suspicion, a brilliant drug-dealing drama that I saw and praised last summer.

Suspicion is a fact-based, late-’80s drama about Susan Smith (Clarke), a drug-addicted Eastern Kentucky mom who lunged at an affair with a married FBI guy named Mark Putnam (Jack Huston) as a possible means of escape from her dead-end existence, but she played her hand too hard and wound up dead in the woods.

“Clarke did good,” I wrote. “Her emotionally poignant performance as Smith proves that she can operate above and beyond the realm of Tits and Dragons, and with scrappy conviction to spare. Tart, pushy, believably pugnacious.

“Clarke is English-born and raised but you’d never know it. Her Susan is the Real McCoy in a trailer-trash way, but she brings heart to the game. In other words she’s affecting, which is to say believably scared about how her life has turned out. What Clarke delivers, trust me, is a lot more than just the usual collection of redneck mannerisms.”