April 18, 2014

Tag Archives: Lisbeth Salander

David Fincher’s otherwise pointless and neutered The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake – Rooney Mara

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo feels like a James Patterson novel drained of all color and pulpiness while given a somber air of alleged gravity and importance. That is not entirely an insult, as I enjoy trashy crime fiction and the kind of thrillers Paramount used to put out with regularity in the late 1990s. So if I tell you that this film plays like a drawn-out, overly pretentious, and ice-cold extended episode of Criminal Minds, that’s not quite the insult you might make it out to be. I rather enjoy Criminal Minds and its James Patterson meets Justice League construction. But how I wish that this film, which is arguably less suspenseful and (by virtue of its toned down violence) less sensational then the Swedish original, embraced its pulpy roots just a bit more. Come what may, if I may paraphrase Ty Burr, asking David Fincher to direct this material is like asking Picasso to paint a fence. What it earns in earnestness, it loses in pure entertainment value.
For much of the running time, it is a rather dull thriller in which a relatively dull reporter (Daniel Craig) attempts to solve a mystery with absolutely no urgency. The would-be investigation mostly comprises of Mr. Craig (admittedly more charming than usual due to not having to play a pure alpha male) conducting painfully dry interviews with generally uninteresting people which generally yield no real information and provide little insight into the cast of characters. And, without going into details, the major reveal is made painfully obvious pretty much right from the get-go (and a second major reveal is strongly hinted at pretty early on), which makes the majority of the film 2/3 into a bit of a chore when the focus is on cracking the case. As for the ‘breakout character’, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is barely in the film for the first half, and her scenes are so disconnected from the main narrative that her arc feels like a separate (and arguably superior) film altogether. Yes, Salander and Craig’s Blomkvist eventually do cross paths, and the film is better for it when they do, but the first half of the picture is basically a very boring and conventional mystery occasionally interrupted by a far more interesting character study.
As for the title character, if the film [...]

David Fincher, Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig open up about “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Lisbeth Salander is back on the hunt.
The cyber-punk heroine of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy has been resurrected from the pages of the best-selling novel for a maudlin, stormy adaptation guided by cinematic master David Fincher. Though audiences around the world are intimately familiar with Larsson’s missing-persons mystery from the book and a 2009 Swedish film version, those who check out the latest “Dragon Tattoo” will find invigorating new translations courtesy of Fincher’s relentlessly unique approach to some of the story’s universal themes.
In New York City lately, the director addressed the media with his two leads – Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig – in tow for a lively conversation about unlikely relationships, Larsson’s appeal, and the power of Lisbeth, who Mara does not want to treat like an up-and-coming feminine superhero.
Read our review of the film right here!
“I hope not. That was never our intention. We always wanted to make her human. We never thought of her as a comic-book hero,” Mara told the press.
When casting for Lisbeth, Fincher says he was looking for “a magnetic” response to Craig’s protagonist.
“They’re sort of unable to be close to one another. They sort of push off of each other,” the director explained. “So I started looking at the things about Lisbeth that I wanted to see. And I didn’t see them initially in anyone that we were looking at. And Rooney was right under our noses in that I’d already spent four or five days with her on ‘The Social Network.’
“But again, when you cast somebody, you cast them for an inherent kind of quality,” Fincher continued. “You are going to be shooting 14-hour days. You are going to be tired. You’re not going to be able to conjure an armor or a façade every single moment. You want the actor to have a quality that you can’t beat out of them with a tire iron, that is that thing. And innate quality that they have. Rooney was somebody that we brought back time and time again, not because we didn’t see what we were looking for, but because initially … the problems that she was solving for me in ‘The Social Network’ – she was intensely feminine, very mature, warm, verbal, trying to build a bridge desperately to Jesse [Eisenberg] in that five-and-a-half minutes that she’s on screen – none of those qualities apply [...]

David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” – Our review – AWARDS ALLEY

Unlike David Denby, we waited until Sony took down their press embargo to post our review of David Fincher’s anticipated “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a methodical adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel. If successful, it’s expected to kick-start an American version of the extremely popular Swedish trilogy (though no word yet if Fincher would return for subsequent installments). So, now that we’re able to discuss the film at length, here’s my review of Fincher’s latest:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (*** out of 4)
Yep, that’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Audience members taking their first plunge into Stieg Larsson’s icy den of Swedish snakes likely will muster more enthusiasm. The 40-year-old missing-persons mystery and the captivatingly shocking personification of mythological anti-hero Lisbeth Salander should resonate with “Tattoo” virgins.
And really, isn’t that the point of Fincher’s film? To lure in patrons who’ve avoided Larsson’s pulpy launch of the “Millennium” trilogy or skipped the sufficient 2009 adaptation? Because the story driving Fincher’s latest is instantly recognizable to the millions who’ve either skimmed Larsson’s novel or watched the Swedish take. And while this new “Dragon” benefits from a tight squeeze through Fincher’s calculated, cold filter – and, you know, does away with those pesky subtitles — knowing the answers to the film’s sordid mysteries strips away most of the picture’s punch.
Hewing closer to Larsson’s book, Fincher moves a few set pieces around but still recounts the herculean efforts of besmirched journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to locate Harriet Vanger, who vanished off of her family’s island and was never seen again. Blomkvist’s investigation on behalf of Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) eventually pairs him with gifted computer hacker Salander (Rooney Mara), and the two unearth the buried history of a serial killer who has quietly prayed on the Swedish countryside for decades.

But, of course, you likely knew this. “Girl” sold millions of copies, and Noomi Rapace’s transformation into the angel of vengeance that is Lisbeth propelled both the character and the actress to the forefront of our pop culture.
Fincher’s translation of Larsson’s material also embraces key themes that propped up the original book and movie. Actions have consequences. Murder, like film direction, is the science of a thousand details (and Fincher, as usual, masters nearly all of them). Men hate women, but occasionally, women fight back. The dark, abusive material can be tough to endure, especially when you [...]

“Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” footage from last night

HollywoodNews.com: Obviously, the eight-minute preview for David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is not online and probably won’t be at least until after the weekend. I do not know if it will be playing in theaters before theatrical prints of Straw Dogs or whether it was just something to get the film critics/pundits excited.
The footage is basically a primer for those completely unfamiliar with the franchise. We meet the main characters, we see Christopher Plummer lay out the primary mystery, and we get a look at our heroes in action, both when on the case and on their own time. First and foremost, let me just say that the footage looks absolutely breathtaking. While the pallette of choice is dark (think grey skies), there is a haunting and epic feel to the film that arguably surpasses its TV-movie of the week subject matter. But, it’s also the kind of specifically shot and grey-hued film that can look bloody awful when projected incorrectly. So unless I end up attending a press screening, I’m definitely forking out Arclight money for this one.
Having said that, the footage highlighted what I’d argue was a key problem with the original film. Namely, it’s not a very exciting or gripping story and it’s only the entertainment value provided by Lisbeth Salander that gives the film any juice. Rooney Mara certainly looks and acts the part, and I could easily see her scoring an Oscar nomination if the film breaks out. Her Salander comes off less like a standard ‘tough chick’ than a mentally scarred and fragile figure who happens to also be a computer genius who is able to defend herself when necessary.
But, other than her intriguing look and the somewhat unique nature of her character (plus hopefully strength of her Mara’s performance), the film is still a relatively cut-and-dry mystery picture. It looks absolutely beautiful, but I cannot help but think that having David Fincher remake this picture is a bit like asking Thomas Keller to cook a hot dog. Obviously, if you’re a fan of the original series, feel free to disagree and know that you’ll be in heaven come December 21st.
Photo by Sony Pictures
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Rooney Mara’s Nude Photo Released

HollywoodNews.com: David Fincher’s highly anticipated film adaptation of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ won’t be released until December 21st, but a scandalous poster has already been made public.
According to EntertainmentWeekly.com, the “…poster for the film features a nude Rooney Mara as hacker/goth demi-goddess Lisbeth Salander…” Mara is best known for playing Jesse Eisenberg’s girlfriend in Fincher’s 2010 film ‘The Social Network’.
Co-star Daniel Craig, who will portray journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the film, is shown wrapping his arms around Mara in the “possibly bootlegged” poster. Another version of the poster has the release date somewhat covering up the R-rated parts. The uncensored NSFW version is available to view below.

What do you think of her jewelry?
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Stieg Larsson’s plans for fourth “Millennium” novel revealed

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It is an extremely popular literary series. It spawned an extremely popular foreign-language trilogy. That, in turn, has triggered a David Fincher-directed U.S. remake.
Clearly, we’re talking about Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series, which began with “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Most assumed that, with Larsson’s sudden passing in 2004, the series was gone, as well. But a confidante to the late author has shared what was supposed to happen in a fourth Lisbeth Salander novel.
Larsson confidant Kurdo Baksi told a Swedish daily newspaper (via THR), that Camilla, Lisbeth’s estranged twin sister, was going to play a major role in the fourth story. She appeared briefly in Larsson’s “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” but was going to graduate to a prominent role.
Baksi, according to THR, said that Larsson’s unpublished manuscript “is set on the remote Banks Island in Canada and the further deepens the relationship between Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomqvist.”
Unfortunately, Larsson couldn’t continue his story. It makes me wonder if another author will give it a shot. Until then, Hollywood has picked up the baton and is happy to run with it. Fincher’s take on “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” will be in theaters on Dec. 21.
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‘Dragon Tattoo’ director questions U.S. remake, backs Noomi Rapace for Oscar

HollywoodNews.com: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” director Niels Arden Oplev trumpeted his support for Noomi Rapace’s (aka Lisbeth Salander) bid for an Oscar and voiced his concerns over the U.S. remake of the Swedish blockbuster.
Hollywood Reporter was reading Oplev’s interview with Word & Film”:
The only thing that’s annoying to me is that the Sony PR machine is trying to make their Lisbeth Salander the lead Lisbeth Salander. That’s highly unfair because Noomi has captured this part and it should always be all her. That’s her legacy in a way I can’t see anyone competing with. I hope she gets nominated for an Oscar. I know a lot of Academy members have seen the film and liked it because every time I go to LA I meet so many people who have seen my version of it. Even in Hollywood there seems to be a kind of anger about the remake, like, ‘Why would they remake something when they can just go see the original?’ Everybody who loves film will go see the original one. It’s like, what do you want to see, the French version of “La Femme Nikita” or the American one? You can hope that Fincher does a better job.

The trade went on to explain how it was an apples and oranges comparison to juxtapose Fincher’s “Tattoo” to Z-grade director John Badham’s English lingo remake of “La Femme Nikita.” In their opinion, Fincher is an auteur.
Still, that’s no excuse for cinematic imperialism. Any cineaste will vouch that the Spanish version of “Open Your Eyes” blows Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky” out of the water – all blockbuster receipts put aside. Were there U.S. remakes of foreign language films that you enjoyed better than the original? Please let us know.
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Photo credit: Magic Box
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Natalie Portman one of the actresses being considered for ‘Great Gatsby’

HollywoodNews.com: Lisbeth Salander, the femme astronaut in Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi film – highly coveted roles for actresses in Hollywood. You can add the part of Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” remake which is ramping up at Sony.
Deadline reports that while Luhrmann wants Leonardo DiCaprio (Jay Gatsby) and Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway) from his recent workshop reading, he’s looking for other actresses to play the part of Daisy, Gatsby’s love interest. In the workshop, Rebecca Hall of “The Town” read for the role and she still might be a contender.
However, Deadline learns that the list includes: Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
Daisy was portrayed in the 1974 film by Mia Farrow, while Robert Redford played Gatsby. The film, distributed by Paramount, generated an estimated $27 million at the box office.
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Photo credit: Fox Searchlight
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Christopher Plummer joins David Fincher’s “Dragon Tattoo”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: As David Fincher’s “The Social Network” prepares to bombard theaters (it opens Oct. 1), his next feature continues to add prestigious cast members.
Fincher is prepping an American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” To date, he has tapped Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara to star as makeshift sleuths Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. And now we’re learning that Oscar nominee Christopher Plummer will play the wealthy industrialist who hires them to investigate a decades old mystery.
Plummer has been busy as of late. He voiced the villain in Pixar’s “Up,” and earned his first Academy Award nomination for playing Leo Tolstoy in last year’s “The Last Station.” He also is getting decent awards buzz for Mike Mills’ “Beginners,” where Plummer plays a widower who comes out o the closet after his wife dies.
“Dragon Tattoo” is currently filming. It will be in theaters on Dec. 21, 2011.
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‘Dragon Tattoo’ thesp Noomi Rapace to sleuth in ‘Sherlock Holmes 2′

HollywoodNews.com: While Hollywood took its time deciding who should play the role of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a role perfected by Noomi Rapace, the Swedish actress has wasted no time in choosing her stateside roles.
Word comes from Heat Vision, Collider and a number of other sites that Rapace will make her English-language debut in “Sherlock Holmes 2.” Rapace will play a French Gypsy and beyond that, the entire plot is being kept secret by Warner Bros.
Collider reports: “It is known that Holmes’ arch nemesis, Moriarty, will have a presence, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, and Gary Oldman rumored for the role. Sherlock’s brother Mycroft will likewise make an appearance.” Also Rachel McAdams is suppose to make a cameo as Sherlock’s old flame Irene Adler.
Rapace was also rumored to take meetings for parts in “Mission: Impossible 4,” James McTiegue’s period thriller “The Raven” and McG’s “This Means War.”
Jeremy Renner has exclaimed that Rapace is his co-star in “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Meanwhile, award consultants are shepherding Rapace in the best actress category this season for “Dragon Tattoo.”
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