The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)
The plot isn’t very distinguished, but director David Fincher presents it with conviction and style, and invests it with integrity. He makes particularly evocative use of old photographs. The characters are nicely fleshed out. The title character is a tough customer, but not a generic bad-ass. This is due mostly to Rooney Mara’s performance. She finds subtle ways to show what’s going on beneath Lisbeth’s hardened facade, projecting danger and vulnerability. The rest of the cast is also solid, Stellan Skarsgård being particularly committed to his role. The script is witty (in context, the phrase “requires more towels” is a highlight), and there are some very effective scenes of suspense – thanks again in large part to Mara.
The movie could’ve done more to lead up to the romantic pairing of the two main characters; it was hard to grasp what they saw in each other. The score is eerie and inventive, though badly deployed. It’s too loud in the mix, and distracting as a result. This flaw exacerbates the fact that the dialogue isn’t always decipherable to start with. I had to watch the movie a second time with subtitles to feel that I had actually seen it. In the end, it’s a very superficial film, but one worth seeing.