Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic, Donald Sumpter
Directed by: David Fincher Screenplay by: Steven Zaillian Based on the Book by: Steig Larsson Original Music by: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Premise: After losing much of his credibility after losing a libel suit, journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by Henrik Vanger to try to solve a forty year old murder. And while on this quest, he will cross paths with the emotionally stunted and abused Lisbeth Salander, who will be a major asset to solving the old case. (Rated R)
Review: First off - WARNING WARNING WARNING - No one under 18 should probably see this film and some adults will not be comfortable watching it either. The R rating is serious. While not specifically graphic, there are several heavily implied strong situations, which due to the amazing talents of these people seem very, very realistic and can be super emotionally disturbing. So beware! The previews in no way signal what you will come across here.
That being said the film was good just disturbingly strong! The acting was superb and so was the cinematography. The locations stayed true to the books and previous films and were kept in Sweden with Swedish locations. It was nice to see the names and sites not Americanized and actually kept as originally created. It gave a nice flavor to the film.
Matters move slowly as the lives of the two protagonists are peeled open and begin to intersect. The mystery too is layered and must be peeled and narrowed on bit by bit. Flashback scenes but especially photographs are used masterfully to map the journey of discovery, which was very well done. Clues and red herrings abound.
While all the actors and actresses were fabulous, special kudos should go to Rooney Mara for her portrayal of Lisbeth. The character's emotional scars, determination, disgust, her shield against the world were all masterfully presented. There better be a nomination for her! Just saying.
Another bit that really stood out was how the one person all fingers easily pointed to as probably being the one guilty of the crime, the old reclusive Nazi uncle, turned out to probably be the best and friendliest of the Vanger family. Nice to see them not fall to the old cliche.
If you've seen the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film, there were definitely differences though the crime and main points remains the same. And this version was much stronger both emotionally and graphically. Had fun comparing the two. One of the few times when the remake outdid the original, in my opinion.
Overall, if you can stomach the graphic/implied content, a very worthwhile film.
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price and Seeing Again for Matinee)