Recommendation: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)

I haven’t read the book. Because, you know, all the tiny little words. And because I’m a terrible human being.

And I haven’t seen the Noomi Rapace / Michael Nyqvist Swedish film, or not all of it anyway. I saw some of it, and it looked fine, but not outstanding. (Sad to hear that Michael Nyqvist died on Tuesday by the way — only 56!)

And I know that my brother and sister-in-law who live in Sweden saw the 2011 film that I’m recommending (directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig) and chuckled all the way through, because these Hollywood actors were wandering around Sweden speaking English. And all of them are putting on Swedish accents, except Stellan Skarsgård, who is Swedish, and Daniel Craig, who can’t be arsed.

But I think it’s a wonderful film. I loved it in the cinema, and H and I watched it again recently and I loved it just as much.

I… will just leap in and say that I’m still not 100% on board with how the rape scene is portrayed. But to be fair it’s not anywhere near as eroticised as I remember it being.

I think the cast are all fantastic. (Spoiler: Stephen Berkoff is not actually a baddie for the first time in the history of everything!)

And David Fincher’s direction is just beautiful. I’m gripped from the very beginning to the very end. I love the love story that develops between the two main characters, and I think the ending is (genuine spoiler this time) really heartbreaking.

But it’s Rooney Mara’s film as far as I’m concerned. I think Noomi Rapace is fantastic, and she does have the advantage of actually being Swedish. But Rooney Mara just looks haunted throughout the entire film. And I completely believe her Lisbeth Salander as a character.

Current Favourite Moment:

I’ve actually gone back into this article and changed it. I originally wrote:

The rather touching way in which Lisbeth asks Mikael for permission to kill the murderer.

But I realised there’s another moment in the film that stuck with me much more. It’s the tiniest of things. Mikael and Lisbeth are lying next to each other in bed, researching something or other. Mikael has his hand on Lisbeth’s back (I think). And he moves it, and she says “no, I liked that, put that back”, which he does.  It’s a really casual moment. But not only is it a lovely little intimate detail, but it’s also hugely revealing about the fact that how this character, who initially seemed absolutely unwilling to open up to anyone, has changed.