67: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (U.S. version)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – December 20, 2011
Starring: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer,
Written by:
Directed by:

The plot: “Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.” – IMDB

My thoughts: Okay, so I know for a fact that there are a billion reviews for this movie out because it was quite buzz-worthy. And with good reason! Point being, there are probably reviews that will be more critical of this so I’ll just do my usual spiel and let you be the judge. Like I told everyone I talked to in regard to the film, “I’m a big Fincher fan, I’m a big Daniel Craig fan, and I’m a big Trent Reznor fan,” and so really, this combination wasn’t likely to go wrong with me.

I really loved the Swedish version starring Noomi Rapace in the titular role of Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. And even though I think Rooney Mara comes off as being very vanilla in “real life”, she was excellent as Lisbeth. She was hard and messed up and perfectly weird. I really feel that she was on par with Noomi in the role and they both brought a really wonderful and distinct dynamic to the character.

However, I thought that Daniel Craig stood out to me as Mikael Blomkvist. For some reason, I don’t really recall what Mikael was like in the Swedish version. Daniel always seems so charismatic and complex in his roles (at least to me. I’m sure many would argue that. I guess I’ve just got a crush on him.)

I haven’t read the books, but as far as I understand, Fincher’s film follows the books more closely which I generally enjoyed. It ended on a much sadder, probably more realistic version which to me was appreciated as it just doesn’t seem like the kind of story where everyone gets the perfect, ideal happy ending. It’s kind of the entire point of Lisbeth.

Reznor and Atticus Ross‘s score was glorious. I love that it’s not so much that they’re creating music or songs, they create moods. I don’t know how else to describe it. I just don’t think I’d ever put on the soundtrack separately or say “Oh turn it up, I love this song.” To me, it’s kind of the epitome of what a score should be. I’d put Cliff Martinez in this category.

I really enjoyed the movie. It was kind of nice seeing it and comparing it to the Swedish version. I can’t determine which I liked more…I’ll probably have to watch the 2009 version so that Fincher’s is still fresh in my mind and I can decide. It was easily one of my favorite movies of 2011 – won’t be surprised if it comes away with a few awards throughout the year.

Stars: 5/5


One thought on “67: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (U.S. version)

  1. I have read the books, but have not seen the Swedish versions of the films yet; having said that, I really felt as though Fincher’s film stayed mostly true to the books. There were a few things left out, one or two I thought could or should have been included….but I don’t feel leaving them out took away from the film. I thought Rooney Mara catapulted herself into super-stardom with her performance! I though Daniel Craig was very good and that his performance has gone unappreciated. The only real issue I had with the movie was the opening “video” that added absolutely nothing to the film, and really played more like the beginning of a James Bond movie.

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