After several months stalled at page 253, I recently finished Stieg Larsson’s first novel in his “Millennium Series,” The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I am beyond happy I dug in my heels and finished this taut crime thriller. Larsson is impeccably deliberate and loves pacing the reader along methodically. My love of the book is making me super anxious to see David Fincher’s (The Social Network) movie of the same name, due in theaters on December 21, 2011. Given Fincher’s track record, the popularity of the novel and the eclectic cast, it’s hard not to see The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo as a possible Oscar contender. I actually streamed the Swedish film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo via Netflix (streaming sucks doneky balls, by the way) and fell asleep midway through the movie. I hope that has more to do with subtitles than it does with content. But don’t take my pooh-poohing on the foreign version as commenplace, because RottenTomatoes.com has it at 86% positive and Roger Ebert gave it four out of four stars, becoming in the process, as are many viewers, fond of Noomi Rapace as Elisabeth Salander. It’s Rapace’s portrayal of the punk femme fatale in all three Swedish movie versions of Larsson’s novels that has propelled her into one of Hollywood’s most sought after new talents. Rapace will be seen in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows this December and in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus coming June 2012.
Alas, I digress.
Many fans of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest movies don’t think Fincher can measure up to the intensity and brutality displayed vividly in the aforementioned Swedish versions. Not so says Rooney Mara (The Social Network), who is Fincher’s Salander. Talking about the infamous rape scene in The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Mara said, ““It was incredibly intense. We did it all in a week — the week of Valentine’s Day, oddly enough. We were working 16 hours a day, and it was really, really challenging, not just emotionally but physically. But it’s such an important scene. We wanted to do everything we could to get that right.”
She also says the topless NSFW teaser poster is a good example of the in-your-face storytelling the filmmakers want to bring to the screen. Mara said, “I understand why there was a lot of controversy. People have a hard time with strong females and with nudity. But I think had I been doing something incredibly violent on the poster, people wouldn’t have had a problem with it. That sort of says a lot about the world that we live in. It’s just a teaser poster. I think it did just that. It teased people.”
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo comes to theaters on December 21, 2011. You can watch the trailer by following this link.