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Monday, January 16, 2012

[9.25/10] The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)



Brief review:
Based on the first of three novels in the best-selling trilogy, "Millennium", David Fincher's version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is every bit as compelling as the Swedish original, even superior in some ways. The director's love for the story is written all over the film, and despite the 158 min running time, and fairly slow pacing, he keeps us involved with flawless storytelling, quiet tension, mesmerizing visuals and intriguing characters. Fincher's exquisitely masterful direction makes "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" not only a true masterpiece of subtle mysteriousness, but also one of the most wonderfully crafted and atmospherically captivating films of 2011. The wintry and, yet beautiful Swedish scenery provides the perfect backdrop for the unsolved murder mystery, and the washed-out color palette, the low-key lighting and the fuzzy, yet refined cinematography create a darkly enigmatic atmosphere that adds to the grim beauty of the film. Daniel Craig is fully dedicated to his character, Mikael Blomkvist, giving a far more believable and engaging portrayal than Michael Nyqvist did in the original movie. Rooni Mara is no Noomi Rapace, but she still delivers a sensational, career-defining performance Lisbeth Salander, whose vulnerability is hidden behind a dark mask of tough grittiness. The supporting cast does a fantastic job as well, with Stellan SkarsgÄrd being the standout.

Overall summary: With its pitch-perfect narrative, sophisticated visuals, polished direction and outstanding performances, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is another cinematic jewel in Fincher's crown, and easily ranks as one of the best remakes of foreign films ever made.

22 comments:

InfinitePlans said...

Excited for Fincher, not really excited for the movie itself though.

Melissa Bradley said...

Been debating about this film. I haven't seen the others, either, but with all the praise, I think I'll watch.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've seen the original - how do the two compare?

Rebecca said...

It's on my list! Need to see it.

M. Hufstader said...

Great review! This movie definitely deserves the praise. I've got to agree with you about the atmosphere, this movie never once let up with the noir-style...the snow, the quiet, the music. Brilliant film.

Nicole✗✗ said...

Lovely review! I’ve wanted to see this but I want to see the original first, which I might do today. Also, I have slightly dreaded sitting through a 2.5+ hour film. However, it appears it’s going to definitely be worth it overall so I can’t wait to see it!

HorrO said...

Ahh you liked the movie. So did I. I was concerned but it turned out well. I was sure they were going to screw it up. The rape scene was intense, but still more worse in the original. The girl did a much better job than I thought she would. Great review!

Matthew Vanacore said...

High praise, my friend. I'm really excited about watching this. Fincher is a true contemporary auteur. He imposes his vision in every frame, every morsel of dialogue, every performance. His distinct mise-en-scene is very impressive.

You mentioned it ranks as one of the best American remakes of a foreign film. Would you say it ranks higher than The Departed? Just curious. BTW, I think Infernal Affairs > The Departed (but only slightly because I love Scorsese).

And overall an excellent review!

Maynard Morrissey said...

very well written review, seems like you had a really great time watching it.

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Need to see this! It gives me hope for the movie that you liked it. I love the Swedish film, and I actually like Michael Nyqvist as Blomkvist even though no one else does. He's just got a great face, like he survived a horrible hatchet attack or something. I haven't found the time to see this at the theater yet, though... might have to wait for DVD.

Nebular said...

InfinitePlans, if you've seen the original you'd know what to expect. If you haven't, do it as soon as you have the chance. Both, the original and the remake are incredible!

Nebular said...

Mel, you should check out both films. I like the remake slightly better, probably because of Fincher's amazing skills.

Nebular said...

Alex, there aren't many changes in terms of storyline, but this one is superior execution-wise.

Nebular said...

Rebecca, you definitely should. It's pretty much flawless. ;)

Nebular said...

M. Hufstader, thank you so much, buddy. Glad you liked both my review and the film itself. Ah, the atmosphere was absolutely hypnotic. :)

Nebular said...

Nicole, both films are almost 3 hours long, but trust me, you'll never feel like you're watching an overlong films. You won't make a mistake if you see the remake first. It pretty much complements the original.

Nebular said...

HorrO, I did like it... A LOT. The rape scene was as good as the onein the original, and Mara did an amazing job. Couldn't believe how good she was here.

Nebular said...

Matty, well-said, and I couldn't agree more with you about Fincher. His film-making is pure art, and he's a genius!

I think the Departed is slightly better than this one, but just slightly. Not the biggest Scorcese fan, but I must admit he did a fantastic job with the remake of Infernal Affairs.

For me, there are 3 American remakes better than the foreign originals.

1. Let Me in (2010)
2. The Departed (2006)
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

All the are almost perfect!

Nebular said...

Maynard, thanks buddy. Yep, I was absolutely mesmerized by it. Loved it as much as the original, even more in some ways... it was technically superior, but I wasn't surprised by that since Fincher himself is behind the camera.

Nebular said...

Michele, I didn't say Michael Nyqvist was bad as Blomkvist. I said that Craig did a better job and was more believable than Michael. :) If you liked the original, than you'll love this one as well. :)

J-SON said...

Oops, I might be one of the rare ones but I do prefer the original. But I've no qualms about Fincher's technical excellence in this film! :)

Nebular said...

J-Son, and I liked Fincher's version a bit better. :)