Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Dir. by David Fincher

This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch's niece from 40 years ago. He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined. Written by Anonymous on

If you are not familiar with the works of David Fincher by now, then there is a chance you should probably be beaten. Aside from probably the worst Alien sequel ever, he has built quite a resume of intense, and sometimes mind boggling films. This includes last years Oscar stomping film The Social Network, but also includes some other greats like Zodiac, Panic Room, Fight Club, The Game, and Se7en. The man makes some super intense films, and I absolutely love it. I always look forward to seeing his work, and now that he seems to be teamed up regularly with my favorite musical phenom Trent Reznor, it only makes me want to see his movies more.

The casting job is about as spot on as I have seen in a long time. Daniel Craig plays the curious and sometimes submissive Blomkvist like he lifted it from the pages of the novel. The always amazing Christopher Plummer portrays Henrik beautifully as a man crushed by his own family and determined to solve a 40 year old murder mystery. I don't think there is ever a doubt that Stellan SkarsgÄrd plays whatever he is told to with excellence, just as he does here. The rest of the supporting cast does just an absolutely amazing job. Now that brings me to the one last person I really want to talk about, and I'm going to start a whole new paragraph for her just because she deserves it.

Rooney Fucking Mara just blew my mind away. I even forgot who she was after the film was done. Now I remember making fun of her after watching Nightmare on Elm Street. Her acting was horrible, but now looking back that was probably the director's fault and not hers. She was forgettable in The Social Network and Youth in Revolt. I barely remember her in either of those films, and it doesn't fricking matter. If she doesn't take Best Actress at the Oscars this year then I have lost all hope for film. She took the character of Lisbeth Salander and ripped it out of the frickin book and portrayed it on the screen in probably the best book to film adaption of a character I have ever seen. I left the theater last evening just amazing and I can't stop thinking about it. She bared it all emotionally and physically to bring this character to life. All of the piercings she has in the film, she really got in real life just to help understand her character. She does such an amazing job playing a troubled woman, beaten down by life, and still managing to survive because of her inner strength. After being brutally raped, instead of taking it as it is and remaining shattered she rises from the ashes to exact her revenge in such a beautiful fashion. The rape scene is graphic just as it should be, but you feel her pain as you are watching it. You are rooting for her to do something about it, and not to just take it. You can tell she is troubled when she seems to use sex as a way to escape her surroundings, and takes comfort in finding a new friend in Blomkvist. I don't know that I have ever seen a person act as well as I saw Rooney Mara do in the theater last night. Just pure beauty and pain wrapped up in the same person. I recommend watching it just alone to see her performance.

Since I am well aware of the story through the books and previous movies, it was not a surprise to me to see the film move at such a slow and steady pace. It picks up at all the right times, and drops down when it needs to. The editing is flawless and brilliantly linked between screen and score. It was such a unique score that it could be construed as overwhelming at times, but I thought it really matched the emotional foreground of the film. It helped make the two hours and forty-five minutes fly by, and kept me super involved in the film. The way Fincher chooses to reveal the contents of the story is a thing of beauty in itself, as he lets the viewer only know as much as the characters at all times, and slowly brings everyone up to speed, slowly building to a big dramatic finish, while cleverly setting up the film naturally for a sequel. I recommend this movie to everyone, and it will be on my DVD buy list when it finally comes out. I look for this to at least get nominations for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (which she damn well better win), and Best Score.

Entertainment Value: 10/10 Forty Year Old Parade Photos
Cinematic Value: 10/10 Forty Year Old Parade Photos

1 comment:

Malice said...

I just saw this one last night, and I too, see now that they were lucky to have such talent in that horrible Elm Street remake. When I consider what she could have brought to all her previous performances... Oh well, I look forward to her future work.