The first flat out rave in the mainstream press for David Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo — Owen Gleiberman’s A grade – the whole review is worth reading, but I liked these two paragraphs:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo gives off a ripely kinky, menacing glow. It opens with psychedelic music-video credits, scored to Karen O’s caterwauling cover of Led Zeppelin’s ”Immigrant Song,” that set a mood of evil dipped in black rubber. That fanfare lets you know that the movie is going to have a sensuality and danger that the 2009 Swedish screen version, dutifully effective as it was, did not. Directed by the high-grunge master David Fincher (Zodiac,Se7en, The Social Network), the new Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sticks close to the spirit and most of the details of Stieg Larsson’s Swedish serial-killer novel, in which an officially disgraced left-wing journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), is hired to investigate a homicide that has haunted an aristocratic family for 40 years. Larsson’s plot is nothing more (or less) than a clever conventional whodunit festooned with glimmers of depravity. Fincher, however, teases out the full mythological grandeur of the material. He’s not just a great director — he’s an artist with the eyes of a voyeur, and he has made The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo into an electrifying movie by turning the audience into addicts of the forbidden, looking for the sick and twisted things we can’t see.
As Lisbeth Salander, the sullen 24-year-old waif hacker who’s the story’s spectacularly outlandish heroine, Rooney Mara sports the spiky black plumage of a punkette peacock, with oversize earrings tightened onto her lobes like gears, pale-gray skin set off by barely perceptible eyebrows, choppy bangs, and piercings she wears like scars. Even when Lisbeth is standing still, her whole look is really an act of violence, an assault against decorum. It’s her way of fighting to be noticed, with a suppressed scream that says, ”Look at me — and stay away!” She’s like Clarice Starling crossed with Joan of Arc crossed with a homeless, fingerless-gloved teen sociopath. Lisbeth, who set her father on fire and has been in and out of a mental ward, is placed in the ”care” of a civil-servant parole officer named Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen), a bourgeois pig who not only treats her like a piece of meat but is supremely smug about his belief that he can get away with it. His assaults against Lisbeth rouse us to her side, culminating in an all-out violation that Fincher stages with naked horror. When Lisbeth returns to seek vengeance, armed with scurrilous video and a tattoo gun, she’s no trumped-up action heroine; she’s operating out of hell-bent instinct. Mara acts with a quiet power — a rage chilled into silence — that is almost ghostly.