Friday, February 10, 2012


I’m a member of a great organization called Film Independent (FYI for a small fee, anyone can join. It's great for filmmakers and fans of film.) Among other great things Film Independent  does, it puts on is The Spirit Awards (think Indie Oscars.) Well, as a member in good standing, I was invited to a screening of Sony & MGM Pictures new version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Based on the posthumous best selling book trilogy by the late Swedish author Stieg Larrson. And which has  already produced three fantastic Swedish films with actress Noomi Rapace; who I just loved in the now iconic the role of Lisbeth Salander. This amazing literary and (now celluloid) character's so full of attitude, I described in a past blog as the new Steve McQueen.( But along the attitude she's the ultimate underdog; a friendless loner... did I also mention, she can open up a can of major whoop ass if you piss her off ? Lisbeth Salander's all that and so much more. So for me, Rooney Mara had some big tattoos to fill…

I guess you gotta start somewhere?

Before last nights screening at the Landmark Theaters in West Los Angeles, the audience was treated to a Q & A with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo herself; Rooney Mara as well as director David Fincher (as well as cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall.) When I first heard that there were plans underway to make an American version on these films, well at first I cringed… but when I heard it was Fincher at the helm, I gave a sigh of relief! If anyone could make it work, it would be the man who directed Zodiac and Seven. But I was still really wondering who'd step into Repace’s black commando boots? Rooney Mara? I had never heard of her (which was actually a good thing for this role.) I heard that she had a part in last year’s Oscar contender The Social Network… which I did see… and I guess I kinda remembered her in that? Well, once the film started, I pushed my memories of Noomie Repace aside and let Rooney Mara show me her stuff… and she did not disappoint.

During the Q & A, Fincher stated that he had seen a slew of actresses for this part, the two things that won him over with her (which he used in his case with the studio to cast her) was that he said that she couldn’t be broken… whatever unpleasant thing he asked of her during the audition process, she did… they couldn’t break her. That, and her onscreen chemistry with Daniel Craig, who plays disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist, whom she reluctantly teams up with to solve a 40 year old murder mystery at the request of powerful industrialist, Christopher Plummer (which is only part of the story…) Funny, now when you hear Daniel Craig's name... you might think, James Bond through osmosis? But FYI the real hero in these stories is strictly Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander.

It's all about chemistry

Rooney, who has been rewarded for this role with an Oscar nomination, not only steps into those black commando boots… she does indeed fill them, and makes them her own. She so looked tiny to me in person at last nights screening… but onscreen last night, she filled the screen with a swagger that would make Vin Diesel her "bitch." If you like an intense movie experience, go see TGWTDT. It’s a great mystery film with action and most importantly... it’s got amazingly well written characters. Anther great thing, if you see TGWTDT and get hooked on these characters, and if you don't mind reading subtitles, you can rent the exciting Swedish sequels... I promise that the transition will be flawless... because in the end, it's all in the character; Lisbeth Salander with both actresses in the role of a lifetime!

Don't piss her off!


  1. Based on this review, Ray, I just might go see TGWTDT! Having read all three books and seeing the Swedish versions, I, too, was reluctant to accept the American version. I'll let you know when I see it and if I like it as much as you did!

  2. Thanks for your feedback Diane... see it. I like you, was on the fence... but it was an interesting experience to see them both.