Ferocious Rooney Mara heats up the Best Actress race

Rooney Mara has got me by the balls. She’s tasered me, straddled my face, and inked her embodiment of Lisbeth Salander into my head.  Unlike the scumbag recipient of her vengeance in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I’m honored that she’s left her mark on me.  I’m tagged and branded as a fiend for this film, and I don’t care who knows it,  Rooney Mara is the Lisbeth I had in my minds-eye when I read Stieg Larsson’s novel three years ago. Steve Zaillian’s script strips the story down to the lean machine I wish that book had been — but it was never about the story. The Vanger case is only the bait we bite so that Lisbeth can get her hook in us.

Rooney Mara takes that hook and sharpens the barb to deadly perfection.  It’s my favorite performance by any actress this year.

For anyone who feels the same indelible attraction, The New Yorker‘s David Denby articulates Mara’s hypnotic appeal:

Mara’s eyes, mostly unlined and isolated in her face, which has been chalked into a pale mask, express need as well as anger. Despite the spectacular athleticism of the subway scene—a single, continuous line of action—her physical presence is more approachable, more womanly (in the conventional sense) than Rapace’s. When her Lisbeth has sex with Blomkvist, the connection moves a little closer to a regular love affair. It’s true that Mara straddles Daniel Craig and drives toward her orgasm like a teenage boy, but, afterward, she looks at him with something like tenderness. There’s a hint of something more… something like an open admission of need, something like a bond.

Critics have scattered in all directions this year, clutching to obvious choices like ants grappling for the biggest crumbs after their anthill was stomped by last year’s oxen.  When the American Film Institute named The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo one of the 10 Movies of the Year, the film got a lot of prestigious traction.  But then momentum seemed to spin away in more predictable directions. No matter. What we know by now is this: Critics are risk-averse this season. None of them want to be standing with their dicks in their hands like last year, so most of them have been playing it safe.

That’s fine.  The critics groups have made some honorable choices — but where’s the challenge, where’s the tingle of fireworks in playing it safe?  For weeks leading up to Christmas, awards season felt tamed, neutered and domesticated to me.  All the contenders looked too neatly packaged and carefully coiffed.  I was craving more excitement, yearning for dirtier thrills.  Rooney Mara delivered the daring fearlessness I’d been waiting for, and David Fincher wrapped her in another package altogether — maybe not so tidy, but far more fascinating.

Jake Cole talked to Fincher for The Boston Globe:

“I’m more attracted to the pervert’s story,” says Fincher. “I’m not as positive what we’ll all agree on. I think I made a choice early on in seeing that other sandbox and going, `Everyone else wants to hit that home run in escapist entertainment. And yet I always sort of liked this stuff that sneaks in through the side window. So why not provide a viable alternative?

“That’s not to say I wouldn’t have loved to make a movie like `Jurassic Park.’ They all would have died, but …”

Fincher smiles wryly, but he has deep admiration for Steven Spielberg and even musical theater legend Bob Fosse. After all, his virtual film school was working at the effects house of another escapist master, George Lucas, at Industrial Light & Magic. Still, the filmmakers that made a bigger impression were Alfred Hitchcock and, particularly, Roman Polanski — both directors known for deriving pleasure in subverting audience expectations for wholesome entertainment.

“Hitchcock was more of a child playing with these ideas,” says Fincher. “Polanski, I don’t think, was ever a child. … I wish I was as confident to be as perverse as Roman has been.”

This is how a smart director behaves when he’s being compared to Hitchcock and Polanski.   But I’m not quite convinced that Fincher lacks confidence to be perverse.  If there’s more perversity in store for us, I’m glad for the ankle shackles.  Can I get another jolt with the taser to relax me before we proceed with any greater confidence?

Though his visual abilities often overshadow his storytelling talent, Fincher, like Hitchcock and Polanski, might be best understood as a psychological filmmaker. He delights in describing, in great detail, a scene’s nuanced interplay of gesture, eye contact and emotion. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” may not differ mightily from the Swedish original, but few would argue that, by way of a million subtleties, it’s better crafted.

“I genuinely feel like he’s the closest thing we have to Hitchcock,” says Craig of Fincher. “People kind of compare him to Kubrick, but there’s something else about him — something that he does with visuals and he does with actors. People kind of give career-defining performances in his movies.”

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is just that — a career-defining performance for Rooney Mara.  What’s more, it utterly demolishes any grumbles that Fincher is less interested in character than atmosphere or that he doesn’t get women.   Together David Fincher and Rooney Mara have given us the most thrilling female performance of the year.

“David won’t lie to you,” says Mara. “He just won’t. I don’t think he’s capable of it. He’s the most straightforward human being I’ve ever met. He always empowers you to have a choice.”

In a year stacked with seemingly mandatory overdue slots and Great Ladies many feel obliged to respect,  is a rebel like Lisbeth Salander too furiously thrilling for the AMPAS to handle?  Too perverse? Too sexy? Too violent?

Lisbeth inspires sexual rage in men. She is both a victim and an avenger, a woman damaged, abused, yet defiantly sexual—a woman prepared to hit back and to stay out in the danger zone, unwilling to change, ready for more.

The Goth regalia—black leather jacket and boots, tufted hair, spiked collar, piercings, an armory of rings—gives hints of dirty pleasures, harsh sexual combat, a readiness for pain. She’s already been through hell, pushed around a lot, and vulnerable (though no one could say innocent). With another push, or a period of weakness, she could slip into alcoholism or addiction; she could become a prostitute and then a corpse. Surely she’s close to being crazy, pathological. Or so it seems, at first…

Dealing with the world as it is, she accepts the bargain demanded by her history and temperament—that she will risk punishment as the price of insolence and always claim the freedom to retaliate.  The exercise of righteous violence is what turns action figures into pop-culture icons. That, plus an aura of outlaw style and perversity.

 

It’s high time women in film be empowered with same raw threat of danger we admire so much in men.  What better way for the Academy to empower actresses for more roles like Lisbeth Salander than to honor Rooney Mara’s ferocious performance.

 

Austin Film Critics Awards

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Trouble in Mind – Diving Down Deep with Best Actress

279 Comments

  1. Micheal
    December 29, 2011

    Rooney, Theron, and Olsen are all right there in my opinion. I think it’s between Viola Davis or Michelle Williams though. Both have already been previously nominated. Davis would be way to praise The Help, while Williams fits the recent find the ‘young starlet’ pattern the Academy has fallen into.

  2. OLIN
    December 29, 2011

    The five lead actress slots seem to be “locked”, with Close, Davis, Streep, Swinton and Williams.

    The question is, if Mara gets in, who does she bump out?

  3. December 29, 2011

    “while Williams fits the recent find the ‘young starlet’ pattern the Academy has fallen into.”

    Michelle Williams is doing spectacular work these past few years, no doubt. I agree with you there, Michael.

    As far as filling a need to Find The Starlet — they’ve already found Williams, twice.

    I want them to find someone new. I want them to give Rooney Mara a turn.

  4. December 29, 2011

    The question is, if Mara gets in, who does she bump out?

    I think the only essential undeniable locks are Davis, Streep and Swinton. That’s all the cake I need. Rooney Mara is this year’s icing, for me.

  5. Micheal
    December 29, 2011

    Well Portman had been nominated before as well. It just seems like the Academy has chosen the younger actress (Cotillard over Christie, Portman over Streep/Bening). I’m with you though, Mara deserves her turn – she owns the Lisbeth role. That isn’t easy too considering Rapace was so outstanding in the Swedish version. I agree with Sasha though, having read the books Mara is more like I imagined from the novel.

  6. OLIN
    December 29, 2011

    It’s interesting to me that you find Swinton’s chances stronger than Williams.

    I would LOVE for Mara to be nominated; it just feels like the type of performance we’ll all look back on in years and still type in awe over. But honestly, if she were to sneak in, I see her moving Swinton out, or maybe Close, although I can’t see the academy shunning Close.

  7. Chris
    December 29, 2011

    She certainly was riveting, I couldn’t look away. I wonder though will it feel enough like an ‘acting’ job to people who don’t like the film?

  8. Micheal
    December 29, 2011

    Actually it was just Bening. It only seems like Streep is nominated every year.

  9. Rob
    December 29, 2011

    oh my goodness…Sasha would do anything to get Rooney Mara in Best Actress just short of changing the site name to DragonTattoo4Oscar.com I will say she’s playing her cards really well, but I will pray it doesn’t happen. Lisbeth Salander is not an Academy Award type role. The character is almost more animal like then human. and take away the hair, piercings, clothes, and of course the Tattoo, and what do you have? not much.

  10. steve50
    December 29, 2011

    I’ll say it again – Lisbeth Salander is the toughest, smartest and most flawed female character I’ve seen on screen in years, and Mara nails it. You’re in awe of her, frightened by her, and want to protect her, all at the same time. I think she’s going to make the cut, and I don’t really care at whose expense – it is the best actress performance of the year, IMO.

  11. December 29, 2011

    Tilda Swinton is far from an essential undeniable lock. There are no locks, but there are contenders close to being locks. Swinton isn’t one of those.

    I disagree with the point that Lisbeth could slip into addiction – I never got that from her. Her vulnerability is far succeeded by her resilience and her confidence in herself. She’s too proud of her persona, both physically and emotionally. But could we know how far she’d fall if the chips were down? The chips are already down for Lisbeth, and it only ever makes her stronger.

    Ryan, I’m so glad about what you wrote at the top of this article. So many people have been complaining that the Vanger storyline was better developed in the Swedish version, or that the film has no business rambling on once it has been resolved. It was clear to me, even before the Vanger storyline got into full swing, that the film was never about that family. People looking for cheap thrills can find them on any daytime TV murder mystery show. The film does what it needs to do to fulfill its obligations to its characters – that it does so with such style is yet more rewarding, if rather expected coming from David Fincher.

    By the end of this film, I cared about Mikael and Lisbeth much more than I would have had it stopped five minutes after [SPOILER ALERT] Martin died or Harriet was found. It makes me want to see the sequel. Most similar films tease us at the end with the promise of more of the same next time, like Batman Begins or Tintin or other films which I have and haven’t enjoyed. But this is so much more satisfying because it convinced me that the sequel will be different and expand on what work has already been done, and that it will be necessary too. Surely those last 20 minutes are the most subtle, exciting, fulfilling sequel-tease around?

  12. Tony
    December 29, 2011

    @Rob — I agree.

    @Ryan — Vulgar language is vulgar (and unnecessary) even when the audience consists (solely, I hope) of adults.

    Just because a movie and/or performance is edgy or daring doesn’t make it great. Personally I like Ms. Rapace’s Salander more.

  13. December 29, 2011

    Although I would say that Anna Pacquin’s electrifying turn in Kenneth Lonnergan’s embattled MARGARET was the best performance by a lead actress I’ve seen this year, I must agree with you that Mara is superlative as well, for me more impressive than the film she appears in. She absolutely deserves a nomination.

  14. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    A lot of people will get bumped out of this category- you could expand it to ten this year and still be left wanting…

    I have not seen THE GIRL so I’m not qualified to give an opinion.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Leila Hatami gets in for A Separation. I think Dunst will get in. Redgrave is well respected so it wouldn’t surprise me. Personally I wouldn’t nominate Close, but I get the feeling they will feel obliged. Not to say she wasn’t strong, just others were better this year IMO.

  15. Keifer
    December 29, 2011

    WOW!

    Ryan, that’s pretty glowing praise from a year that contains some pretty good acting from actresses.

    After reading your very positive review of Rooney Mara’s performance, it makes me now want to definitely see it.

    One question: Isn’t the film uber-violent? Because unnecessary gratuitous violence in film always turns me off.

  16. December 29, 2011

    One question: Isn’t the film uber-violent?

    Keifer,

    As far as what’s actually on the screen, it’s not graphically violent. There’s a brutal rape — but that’s not something any movie can ever show up close. It’s happening, and we feel the horror, but the collision of physical contact we’re shown doesn’t come close to being as graphic as one minute of boxing on HBO.

    Throughout the movie there’s very little blood. Not a lot of upclose bodily harm.

    The violence of the rape is intense in our heads. But it’s framed like any rape scene on film necessarily has to be — to help shield our eyes from the worst of it.

    Straw Dogs was far more violent.
    Hanna was more violent.
    Drive, way way more violent.

  17. Munro202
    December 29, 2011

    @Rob – you know Ryan wrote this article, right? Why are you bashing Sasha when she neither wrote the article nor voiced her opinion in the comments on it?

    I agree with Ryan completely. What a performance!

  18. Munro202
    December 29, 2011

    To add to what Ryan said, the film is quite graphic but none of the graphic scenes are gratuitous – they all serve the film’s plot.

  19. Sasha Stone
    December 29, 2011

    Ryan, that is some killer writing there. And Rob, what is an “Oscar type role”? When Ryan writes:

    “Critics have scattered in all directions this year, clutching to obvious choices like ants grappling for the biggest crumbs after their anthill was stomped by last year’s oxen.”

    He’s exactly right. To be an actor is to embody a character so completely you forget who’s playing the part. Even with Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams – two dazzling impersonations/portrayals you see the actress underneath. Mara’s performance comes out of nowhere. And if you’re too petty to notice because you harbor resentments for me then that is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.

    And anyway, whassamatta, afraid Meryl isn’t going to get enough love this year? Kennedy Center honors, 16 Oscar nominations, 2 wins — ain’t enough? Oh, she needs that third Oscar too. You know, more power to her – I love the woman.

    And for your information, haters, who just ruined my perfectly fine day, I am currently working on a piece about Best Actress that is all about Meryl. So sit tight.

    God, you are so lucky it’s Ryan at the wheel because this shit pisses me off.

  20. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    and steer clear of Cannibal Holocaust – completely misread that title.

  21. Munro202
    December 29, 2011

    Sasha, you and Ryan are 100% right about Dragon Tattoo and the way you both write about the film is inspirational. Can’t wait for that Best Actress piece!

  22. Sasha Stone
    December 29, 2011

    Why are you bashing Sasha when she neither wrote the article nor voiced her opinion in the comments on it?

    Well I did just voice my comments because Rob and the “I agree with Rob” comments were too much for me to take, frankly. If you don’t think this performance is worthy of championing — if you don’t think it’s out of the part, stunning work then you have something to learn about what acting is. Here’s the thing – do I think she’ll get nominated? No. I don’t. The anal rape scene has put off people who are of delicate sensibilities and that includes Oscar voters (nevermind that in the 1970s they nominated The Exorcist) but that isn’t going to stop us from writing about what moves us. Hell, if we listened to you all this site would be so bland no one would read it.

  23. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    @rob – “take away the hair, clothes, piercings and tattoo, then what do you have..?”

    A bald nude lady – what’s your point.

  24. Rashad
    December 29, 2011

    Best female performance of the year.

  25. December 29, 2011

    Oh the 1970s. Were that I was alive in the 1970s. To see the Academy nominate The Exorcist – and even that it hardly the high point of that decade.

    How might The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo get in then…?

    The Exorcist with the Dragon Tattoo?

    That might work. Although Regan MacNeil screaming “stick your cock in her ass” might be taking things too far in this new context…

  26. Rob
    December 29, 2011

    I can have my opinion just like everyone else. and I don’t think Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander should be nominated. Most agree it is not something the Academy is likely to go for, if they did Noomi Rapace would have got in last year (she got BFCA+BAFTA).

    I am a huge fan of Sasha and this site, and I wish Sasha and Ryan found other performances from this year as moving as they do Mara’s. Especially when Mara is clearly fighting for just a nomination, it comes off like ya’ll are just campaigning for her, which doesn’t sit well. You’ve already wrote about how great she was. This article feels like a ‘Oscar Ballots are out, so now we’ll do a ‘Rooney Mara shakes up the race’ article.

  27. steve50
    December 29, 2011

    “God, you are so lucky it’s Ryan at the wheel because this shit pisses me off.”

    Now, that is something Lisbeth would say.

  28. December 29, 2011

    Rob,

    These are the first sentences about Rooney Mara I’ve written on the main page. I didn’t even have anything to write about until exactly one week ago — for 7 days I’ve kept a lot to myself.

    Satisfying to get my feelings out there.
    You can understand that, right? You’re getting your feelings out too.

    When a see another performance I like as much, I’ll write a paragraph or two about that one for you, ok?

  29. gabriel
    December 29, 2011

    I think she’ll get it.

    Best Actresses:

    - Viola Davis
    - Rooney Mara
    - Meryl Streep
    - Tilda Swinton
    - Michelle Williams

    No Glenn Close…

    I Think Mara could be taking Close’s spot. It’s a wrap! Everybody’s hate Albert Nobbs.

  30. Tardy for the Pardy
    December 29, 2011

    My favorite performance of the year is Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  31. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    Wouldn’t it be great if the final five were…

    Streep, Redgrave, Close, Davis and Mara

    4 tough as nails actors and 1 tough as nails character.

  32. Kylie
    December 29, 2011

    My favorite performance of the year is Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  33. Kylie
    December 29, 2011

    @Rob & @Ryan Adams- I think what Rob may have been referring to was Sasha’s relentless posts and tweets about how great Dragon Tattoo and Rooney Mara are. If this a site where film/awards fans are suppose to discuss their picks, it’s a bit frustrating when all this site promotes is Fincher and his work. I don’t think the name “Awards Daily” is a good representation of what this site primarily showcases anymore… it’s been ALL Mara all the time. I wish you guys (not just you Ryan, please don’t take this personally) would showcase other performances and films that really do deserve more attention. I agree with some of the other comments (as I already mentioned)) about Young Adult and Charlize Theron, who made me want to hug myself because I didn’t turn out to be such a train-wreck. That’s the epitome of an anti-hero and I loved it :)

  34. Saul
    December 29, 2011

    Obviously this site is campaigning for Rooney Mara because I haven’t felt “the love” for her like I have on this site anywhere else on the internet. And Ryan saying Davis, Streep and Swinton are the only locks is laughable, it sounds like he’s in denial or something, or just plain ignoring the facts so that Mara can find a way to slip through the cracks or something, and get in the race. Williams is obviously a lock. Close, quite possibly, too. Maybe not a lock, but certainly her keylock is far tighter than Mara’s.

  35. steve50
    December 29, 2011

    “Mara is going to constantly be compared to Rapace in the Swedish version”

    And Streep is going to be compared to the real Thatcher, who was in fact a manufactured persona. Ditto Williams/Monroe, both portraying the same confection. Nothing wrong with cmparison.

  36. December 29, 2011

    If ‘Dragon Tattoo’ gets a bp-nod – I think it will – Mara is in…and in that case, I think Swinton will be the one NOT getting in. There are 3 locks (Williams, Davis, Streep), then we might have Mara if the Academy embraces her film, and if that happens, the 5th slot will come down to Swinton and Close…and latter is doing the rounds at the moment and is considered arguably THE most overdue actress of our time, meanwhile Swinton is a recent winner.

    Too bad Theron and Olsen faded…too bad Knightley and Dunst never had enough buzz to have the luxury to fade…

  37. Hari
    December 29, 2011

    My favorite performance of the year is Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  38. Saul
    December 29, 2011

    Sorry about the excessive “or somethings”. Didn’t proofread before posting.

  39. December 29, 2011

    “Ryan, I’m so glad about what you wrote at the top of this article. So many people have been complaining that the Vanger storyline was better developed in the Swedish version, or that the film has no business rambling on once it has been resolved.”

    Thanks Paddy M

    I had a 90-minute Twitter battle with someone a couple of days ago about that. It was his contention that we didn’t get to know the Vanger family well enough for him to care about Harriet — so he lost interest in the story when the threads of the mystery didn’t get wrapped up to suit him.

    I tried to explain to him that modern detective fiction is always about the character arc of the sleuth — sometimes across a series of a dozen books. That’s been the incredibly fascinating and fruitful style of international mystery thrillers for years.

    He said it was a mess that Harriet has one fate in the novel and something different in the movie. So I tried to tell him that’s just proof that solving the “mystery” is not the goal. It’s more sophisticated than a Miss Marple puzzle. Harriet’s disappearance is essentially a MacGuffin.

    He wasn’t buying it. He said he needed to care more about Harriet and felt the Vanger story got short shrift.

    I told him I hoped he didn’t lose too much sleep worrying about the fate of the stone bird sculpture in The Maltese Falcon.

    We blocked and unfollowed each other.
    :-)

    I had written a lot more today about the choices made in Zaillian’s adaptation, but I cut all that out because it’s tangential to the focus of this piece — today is all about Rooney.

    The script and story issues mean a lot to me, too, but it’ll be better to talk about that some other time. I’ll post that as soon as everybody starts wishing Awards Daily had more articles about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

  40. Hari
    December 29, 2011

    “Mara is going to constantly be compared to Rapace in the Swedish version”

    And Streep is going to be compared to the real Thatcher, who was in fact a manufactured persona. Ditto Williams/Monroe, both portraying the same confection. Nothing wrong with comparison.”

    Good point, but here’s the thing– as someone who LOVED Rapace in Dragon Tattoo, Mara doesn’t hold up. Streep will be nominated because she’s well.. Meryl Streep and she is the ONLY good thing in The Iron Lady. If it were an atrocious performance, then the Academy would not nominate her. Williams’ is a revelation in My Week with Marilyn and shows us the farthest thing from an impersonation or caricature that has so often been displayed in pop culture since Monroe’s death… she really embodies Monroe. The comparison doesn’t hurt Streep and Monroe. It might hurt Mara, who honestly is not even in the top 6 so I don’t know why this article makes it seem that way. Mara doesn’t bring anything new to the character in my opinion. That’s a comparison that DOES hurt.

  41. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    @kylie – I don’t see it that way. I don’t think there have been any awards that haven’t been presented here on this site. And I don’t believe that the are many films that haven’t been discussed. Singling out this performance, as many other films and performances have been singled out or specifically talked about opens up the discussion. I think you’ll find in this post that most of the candidates have been put forward, including Theron three times. Young Adult has had specific posts here too I believe.

  42. barf
    December 29, 2011

    ryan you are the most annoying person on this site. the ‘block/unfollow’ debates you have are because you always belittle peoples opinions or callback to their remark in snarky ways. it’s impossible to debate with you. you take shit too personally.

  43. December 29, 2011

    – “God, you are so lucky it’s Ryan at the wheel because this shit pisses me off.”

    – I don’t understand why it pisses you off? Because people disagree?

    c’mon. Please just play along with this thing Sasha and I do.

    Today I’m tied up in the basement with a neck brace and harness, being taunted and tormented — and it’s a race against time for Sasha to come rescue me before I get my feelings hurt.

  44. gabriel
    December 29, 2011

    Mara is the “It Girl” of the year. She’s the “baby” of the moment and she could be taking Close’s spot. Close won’t get it. Glenn will likely be given a Best Song nomination to compensate…

    Tilda Swinton will get it! Please, please, please… She need/deserve it.

  45. Saul
    December 29, 2011

    If anyone should get that fifth spot, it should be Theron. I’m still not over the fact that people are considering the SAME role that was in contention LAST YEAR and didn’t get in. I mean, seriously. That, and the fact that Mara’s personality is absolutely disgusting and that she’s been riding on the power of Fincher name and that is the sole reason why anyone even gives a shit about her.

  46. steve50
    December 29, 2011

    @ Hari
    I agree that Williams is a revelation and has been, until a week ago, my choice for the oscar, just as she was last year. Haven’t seen Meryl in anything but clips. My point is, these are creations based on creations. Who does the better Marilyn -Williams or Norma Jean; who plays Thatcher better – Streep or Maggie. Do we get something from one, a tiny insight, maybe, that we don’t get from the other? Williams, I think we do. Meryl, we’ll see.

    Same goes for both actors who play Salander, another creation – you prefer Rapace and I liked Mara’s interpretation, only because she came closer to the character I had envisioned in the book.

  47. slim
    December 29, 2011

    I love women… really I do. But when is the Best Actor article coming out?

  48. December 29, 2011

    Oh barf, you are just asking to get your ass kicked aren’t you?

    I’m team Rapace all the way, but I judge the US remake on its own merits with my own eyeballs when I see Dragon this weekend. Maramania is too much for me to stomach cuz it’s TSN Part Deux, and that was traumatic last year.

    The bias on this site is so heavy, I wonder if there is a financial incentive – it’s that blatant I’m sorry to say. It would be nice to see an equally robust and colorful articles written about Charlize Theron, this lady could be a two-timer Oscar winner in February!

  49. December 29, 2011

    barf –
    the guy who says Hugo is “a phony mess”
    who says “Clooney’s a dick”
    who sees a tribute to Scott Rudin as “sucking up to fatcats”
    who says Fincher’s “mastery of craft is laughable”
    who says War Horse is an obvious frontrunner because he stood in line to get a ticket and it was sold out.

    when everyone was excited to see the trailer for The Hobbit, barf told us:

    do you guys have any standards at all? it is terrible. it is just one wink about lord of the rings after another. the same mistake of the star wars prequels. it looks really awkwardly made, and too serious.

    nothing wrong with having those opinions, but since you use different IDs all the time, let’s make sure you get credit for all of them, ok?

    I’m in great mood. Enjoying the discussion.
    Which of us looks like the hothead, barf?

    Can somebody help me sort this out:

    ryan you are the most annoying person on this site.
    & you take shit too personally.

    barf’s been mad at me ever since the Brett Ratner episode

    The problem is that fag isnt the n word for gays like they want it to be. I hear it daily to mean jerk or idiot or a tool… Is it a new thing that fag became a bad word, like in the last two years? … This is so lame, i am glad the blood thirsty gay mob got what they wanted

  50. steve50
    December 29, 2011

    “Today I’m tied up in the basement with a neck brace and harness, being taunted and tormented — and it’s a race against time for Sasha to come rescue me before I get my feelings hurt.”

    HA – Sasha never tried to do her daddy in with an axe, did she? Sorry – 2013 spoiler alert!

  51. Saul
    December 29, 2011

    Thank you Simone for calling out on the absurd bias and Maramania on this site. It’s ridiculous. Just come out and say it: you’re backing her campaign. We’d respect you more.

  52. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    Hari-

    I agree with you about it, but we are fighting a losing game on this site if we plan to grind an axe about Rooney Mara, whom I think did a perfectly good job in the role but was playing a version of the character that, to me, is watered down and turned into a romantic anti-heroine, which I didn’t care for. So the role and the performance for me were too accessible — she even looks very pretty throughout much of the film (very!).

    The Lisbeth Salander that I recognized in Rapace literally blew me back and the word “ferocious” applies, for me, to Rapace, rather than to Mara, who truthfully does suggest emotional depth but does not strike and pounce into the role like a cornered animal fighting every man in the world to avenge the wrongs against every woman, and that was key for me.

    Rapace hypnotized me in the role, particularly in one very critical difference — how the original film’s Lisbeth left of her own accord and appeared in an exotic locale with a seemingly new identity, giving us the impression that this master of both technology and disguise was elusive to Blomkvist; that HE was the one longing for her; that she was unattainable; the woman no many could truly have, as much as he may wish.

    In the new version, the shoe is completely on the OTHER foot — she pines romantically for a man that she sacrifices for who ends up looking the other way and hurting her — the story of so many women — and this very important change in the narrative completely diluted the impact of Lisbeth Salander, in my book, and her strength, independence and self-sufficiency.

    I could say more about it, but that’s the general gist of it.

  53. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    Also, all of this discussion about who “comes closer to the Salander that I saw when I read the book” seems, to me, a bit of a shell game. Books are divorced from screenplays and films; you have to leave that baggage at the door.

    What we need to be talking about is how well Mara succeeded on her own terms and the film’s terms; what is required of her in the role and how well did she execute? Conversely, we can say the same about Rapace. The role is quite different.

    But stating that one fits how you imagined her in the book is sort of irrelevant — it’s like those who always whine that “the book was better,” or “they changed this or that” or “that is not what the author of the book intended.” It’s all silly and gets you nowhere — leave it at the door and judge the film on it’s own merits, period.

    Just one opinion.

  54. December 29, 2011

    @Rob You’re right. This site does have a bias. A bias toward good work.

    Ryan, excellent piece. Mara’s work in Dragon Tattoo makes for a fantastic companion to Uma Thurman’s work in Kill Bill, another film in which a director showed that badassery has no gender lines. Generally speaking, top directors manage to showcase the best opportunities for female roles even if they’re typically associated with male characters or environments. Quentin’s done it 3 times now with Jackie Brown, The Bride, and Shosanna. Marty did it especially well with Lorraine Bracco in GoodFellas. “I gotta admit, it turned me on.”

    Now Fincher finds the right actress for the right role and together he and Mara create something special.

  55. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    Slightly off topic…

    In Steven Zaillian’s adaptation, I am frankly surprised that he didn’t take the opportunity to beef up the Blomkvist character, who pales next to Lisbeth in Fincher’s version. Could there not have been a scene where he discusses what makes him tick as a journalist? A dialogue about journalistic ethics? Corruption? Redemption? The character and his predicament are ripe for rich dialogue and more incisive scenes that should have been invented to give us more investment in him, and consequently, the love story. Would have been a great bonding moment for the pair of them if he’d discussed during the scene where they were in bed and she mentioned her father.

  56. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    And no, before everyone intimates that I need everything explained to me, quite the contrary — I just need the characters to live and breathe. Blomkvist’s exists in service of the Vanger plot.

  57. gabriel
    December 29, 2011

    I will cry blood…

  58. Anonymous
    December 29, 2011

    I am sorry. Mara is not going to be nominated. It is pure wishful thinking. I do feel Sasha and this site are campaigning for Mara without being realistic.

  59. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    Look who’s campaigning ‘Anonymous’

  60. steve50
    December 29, 2011

    “stating that one fits how you imagined her in the book is sort of irrelevant”

    Point taken – you are correct. It’s a trap we all fall into, but I still preferred…. And good points about Blomkvist/development. If only the audience would sit still for fours hours like they used to.

  61. December 29, 2011

    But stating that one fits how you imagined her in the book is sort of irrelevant

    FemmeFatale,
    I’ll concede it’s obviously irrelevant to you :(

    More than I usually do, I wanted to be clear that this was an Op-Ed from my own point of view. So from my point of view, it is relevant to me to have a personal opinion about how well Rooney Mara personified the Lisbeth Salander who already lived in my head.

    You’ve seen the screen tests of various actresses reading for the role of Scarlett O’Hara?

    Do you think there’s any relevance to make an observation about whether or not Tallulah Bankhead, Lana Tuner or Jean Arthur fits your mental image of Scarlett?

    …and then to see Vivien Leigh, and say to yourself: YES! not those others. THIS one.

  62. Anonymous
    December 29, 2011

    Just being realitic. Nobody is campaigning against Mara. Saul is spot on.

  63. Casey
    December 29, 2011

    It’s a true shame that the best performance by an actress this year isn’t even being mentioned in all of these comments.

    Yes Mara was friggin excellent
    I found Glen to be perfection.
    Tildas performance is her best in a long line of great performances.
    Theron was a revelation to me.
    Davis and Streep are great.
    Dunst is supremely overlooked and brilliant.

    But it is Olivia Coleman in Tyrannasaur who gives the best performance of the year. Hands down. Don’t disagree until at least seeing the film.

  64. December 29, 2011

    Ryan makes a good point. In The Godfather book, Michael’s tall and blonde. Robert Redford was initially considered for the role. Today is sounds ridiculous because Pacino’s so phenomenal, but at the time, you would have been arguing for a small, unknown theatre actor in favor of a super-duper-star who seemed physically right for the part. I didn’t read Dragon Tattoo and I didn’t see the Swedish version, so all I had in my mind was the Fincher movie playing before me. And Mara nailed it. Whatever or whoever Lisbeth is supposed to be, Mara’s version holds the screen in ways I have very rarely seen an actress do. It’s the sort of once-in-a-decade performance that will be remembered alongside the Travis Bickles and ^^Scarlett O’Hara’s. (Or Blanche DuBois’…a British actress playing a Southern Belle isn’t quite dead-on casting either.)

  65. December 29, 2011

    I like to think what I wrote is to champion Rooney Mara — not campaigning for her.

  66. December 29, 2011

    There’s a hint of something more… something like an open admission of need, something like a bond. James Bond.

    lol Anyhoo, after the movie in the bathroom there were these 50-something ladies talking. And the one said “Well! That was intense.”

    Her friend said “Oh you mean that scene.”

    And the first said “Yeah. I was really glad you were the one sitting next to Dan.” And they burst out laughing.

    They didn’t seem creeped out or mad or anything but they had to say something about it. I think a lot of people who see the movie are only going to talk about that scene. I don’t know what kind of people the Academy is made up of, so I can’t really tell if that will help or hurt the film.

  67. Tony
    December 29, 2011

    Over the years I have purchased over 3600 movies. I’ve seen a lot of acting. Rooney Mara’s performance fine, but not exceptional.

  68. Tony
    December 29, 2011

    er “was fine”

  69. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    And Wendy is “blonde” in Stephen King’s novel but Duvall kills in Kubrick’s The Shining. My point — that m

  70. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    And Wendy is “blonde” in Stephen King’s novel but Duvall kills in Kubrick’s The Shining. My point — that movies are their own medium and stand as such.

  71. Jon
    December 29, 2011

    Rooney Mara is fantastic in TGWTDT, and I think she will get nominated, because if she doesn’t, the Academy will get a lot of shit. When do they not, one could ask, but this time it is different. For the first time in a long time, they have the opportunity to honor one of the great female characters of the 21st century, in an industry that is constantly criticized for an utter lack of great female characters.

    They can nominate whoever else they want, but if they leave Mara off the list, they are basically making a decision to overlook one of the strongest female characters in recent memory. That may not be fair, but for a lot of us, it’s the way it is.

    Streep will get in, and her Thatcher looks great (I haven’t seen it), despite the reservations people have with the film. A lot of people hate Thatcher, so you have to credit Streep for taking a stab at it.

    Swinton is a consistent force, and her character this year is bold and daring. I’m glad she’s getting recognition this year.

    Williams is one of our great young actresses, but it would kind of piss me off to see the actress who starred in Blue Valentine, Wendy and Lucy, and Meek’s Cutoff win for playing Marilyn Monroe. It practically screams Oscar bait.

    Davis is terrific in The Help, and a nomination for her would make a statement, but also be deserved.

    I haven’t seen Close’s film, so I’ll withhold judgment, but the other performances/characters feel more immediate and more significant. Close, as great as she is, just seems overdue, and a nomination feels, for lack of a better word, boring.

    I’d like to see Olsen get in, though we know that won’t happen, or even Dunst, because women are always great in Lars Von Trier’s films, yet they’re always overlooked.

    Looking back, this is actually a great year for female actresses, but none of that will matter if Mara isn’t nominated.

  72. laura
    December 29, 2011

    Mara deserves an Oscar nomination and if it was up to me she would win.

    She gave the most incredible performance and im praying she gets recognised like she deserves.

    She is still in with a chance, heres hoping

  73. Brian Holder
    December 29, 2011

    “new thriller brought the world’s coolest heroine to life”????

    So Noomi Rapace did nothing for the character? That’s laughable. They could have gone with ‘giving her a new life’ or whatever, but completely ignoring the Swedish trilogy is ludicrous.

  74. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    I’ve seen a lot of posters and advertising of this film, and Rooney always looks different.
    The picture above looks a bit like Elijah Wood’s gothic Hobbit

  75. December 29, 2011

    Look who’s campaigning ‘Anonymous’

    LMAO XD

  76. Alfredo
    December 29, 2011

    “Yesterday, I went and saw YOUNG ADULT and OH MY GOD. I don’t think I have EVER been as impacted by a character in a film or a film as a whole the way YOUNG ADULT shook me to my core.”

    whaaaaat?! Dude, I’m all for people having their opinions and I’m well aware that film going is a personal experience and speaks to us all differently but…really? Of ALL the films you’ve seen in your life Young Adult was the film to shake you to your core? Really?

  77. JJ
    December 29, 2011

    I’m sorry to be joining this thread so late. I just saw the film and have a divided opinion. What I loved: Rooney Mara and her portrayal of Lisabeth. What a kick ass character. What I didn’t love: Fincher’s pacing/focus points – is it just me or did Fincher give more attention to the anal rape sequence than any part of the investigation? Also, the movie glossed so quickly over solving the mystery and then had a flabby twenty minute in which Lisabeth goes and wipes out what’s his name’s bank accounts. The movie should have ended by this point. Also, the movie felt a bit too painterly, CGI in terms of backgrounds, like the house on the hill. I think Fincher’s kind of a dark fuck and struggles balancing light and dark until the midpoint when Lisabeth and Craig are in unison. Also, the showdown at the house on the hill felt like a bad retread of some nineties serial murder movie like that shit show Jolie thriller Taking Lives. Pacing problems. Focus problems. But Mara rose to the occasion and nailed the role. Although, that said, I wonder if the limited expression she brought to the role was the effect of a good Mara girl struggling to fully inhabit such a dark creature. Most of the fucked up people I know are a little bit more charismatic – it’s a means by which they survive the shit. Is Mara enacting a type of asperger’s syndrome – or is she too intimidated to loosen/lighten up a bit? Just asking. The character is written to be LOVED, so you have to take that into account when considering how much you LOVE her performance.

  78. waltizzle!!!
    December 29, 2011

    Rooney Mara rocked my socks off and this film was stunning imo!!! I knew Fincher would do no wrong and he’s had my heart since zodiac!!!

    Best actress in a perfect world:

    Rooney Mara – dragon tattoo
    Michelle Williams – marylin
    Kirsten Dunst – melancholia
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha
    Viola Davis – the help

  79. Mel
    December 29, 2011

    I really agree with this assessment. I loved these books so much and I loved Rapace’s portrayal so much, that I spent the better part of this past year feeling sick about what Rooney Mara would do to the character. I went in completely biased against her. I walked out, completely blown away and can’t get her performance out of my head. I’ve been back twice.

    The nuances and differences in her portrayal really highlighted for me, what was lacking in Rapace’s performance that I hadn’t even noticed before. I am speaking as a fan of the books who loved the character from the books. So I can’t separate the two in my mind. Mara IS Salander…she just becomes her. Rapace does a really good job of acting like her. But I walk away from the Swedish films thinking, “That actress did a really good job” and I walked away from this one electrified and unable to shake Lisbeth Salander from my mind.

    The ending of this one, is exactly the same as the book, save for the gift she was bringing was different. It’s a defining moment for the character and sets the tone for what happens in the second. I know some are discussing how this can not be judged on the book, but you can’t separate this. Fincher made this movie based on the book. Mara built her portrayal on the book. And quite frankly if you haven’t read the book, you will never fully understand the true triumph of Mara’s performance. And, that’s ok….but for those of us who do get it and are completely stoked, why you feel the need to stomp on our fire?

  80. December 29, 2011

    Fincher made this movie based on the book. Mara built her portrayal on the book. And quite frankly if you haven’t read the book, you will never fully understand the true triumph of Mara’s performance.

    Steve Zaillian says he read the book 3 times before sitting down to write the screenplay. He has not seen any of the 3 Swedish adaptations, but says he looks forward to a marathon screening some day — after he finishes the screenplays for the next two movies (if those movies go forward).

  81. Mel
    December 29, 2011

    JJ:

    In the book Blomkvist wonders if Lisebeth has Asperger’s. I also read that Rooney Mara did spend time working with people with autism as part of her research. The only slight problem I had with Rapace’s performance was that she struck me more emotional than I imagined Lisbeth. She conveyed too much under the surface. To me the key to Lisbeth is that you aren’t SURE what is under there.

  82. Mel
    December 29, 2011

    Ryan:

    Due to the box office, I’m afraid we won’t get the sequels. I’m really dying to see more of Mara as Salander.

  83. Tardy for the Pardy
    December 29, 2011

    “whaaaaat?! Dude, I’m all for people having their opinions and I’m well aware that film going is a personal experience and speaks to us all differently but…really? Of ALL the films you’ve seen in your life Young Adult was the film to shake you to your core? Really??

    Yeah, “dude”. It’s an intensely personal experience if you have been around people who are like Mavis. It left me feeling VERY uncomfortable but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I still can’t stop thinking about it. It affected me in a way no other film this year has been able to do so.

  84. Danni
    December 29, 2011

    My favorite performance of the year is Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  85. aaron
    December 29, 2011

    I watched TGWTDT with 5 other friends. We all thought the movie was great, but not once did anyone single out Mara, only that she was terribly thin. Again, as someone stated above, she was fine but nothing exceptional. If anything, if she does the entire trilogy, they might wait and give her the accolades with the last film.

  86. BrandStrategyGuru
    December 29, 2011

    There have been many fantastic performances by women this year, we know that.
    (Can I again mention how Elena Anaya blew me away in Almodovar’s “The Skin I live In”?)

    The academy doesn’t only give the prize to a younger starlet in recent years, it varies. When they felt Sandra Bullock was ‘due’ she received it. When it was Helen Mirren’s time, she won it. Other years it may be the younger starlet, but they are usually previously nominated.

    In some years the academy surprises with one nominee out of left field in one of the 4 acting categories. Sometimes it’s someone who is a number 7 on most people’s list, and more rarely it’s someone most people didn’t even consider. And it usually happens in the most competitive category.
    This year that category is best actress, and we have some fantastic contenders. Will there be a surprise nominee?

    The closest to locks are Viola Davis and Meryl Streep. The rest – some are likely contenders (the strongest in my eyes seem to be Michelle Williams) and some are not.

    Viola Davis – the only actress from possible best picture nominee*, and the heart of the film. I do believe that Octavia Spencer is hurting her chances to win. (Meaning, if voters choose a performance as a way to reward a film, those two performances split that kind of vote). She is very loved and was recognized earlier in the year. She comes across as a wonderful person and very charming in person. She’s getting nominated.
    *Unless TGWTDT manages to get nominated and Ronney Mara along with it

    Meryl Streep – SAG nominee, NYFCC winner. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I hear she is fantastic. A physical transformation, a British accent, a real life historical figure – all in her favor. The fact that the movie is told to be bad is not helping her. But her nomination is secure.

    Michelle Williams – her performance is the one thing that stands out most from the film. The same way that Marilyn charmed people, her personification of her is doing the same to viewers. She is a very passionate actress, she is ‘method’ (which the actor community respects) and she is really luminous in a pretty good film. I think her chances for a nomination are strong.

    Glenn Close – I am not sure what to think. I have not seen the film, so that’s not helping me. I hear most people don’t like the film, that Janet McTeer steals her thunder, and some people when they are told they have to do something (“nominate her, she is due to win”) don’t feel like doing it. Unless there’s a ‘consensus’ about a person (and in that case that person usually wins too). I also think she may suffer if some voters won’t watch the film. Though she has gotten raves and I assume enough buzz to be looked for consideration. She got a SAG nomination, and that’s a good sign. Will enough voters be excited enough about her performance to put her as their number 1? With her doing the rounds, and being so invested in this film, her passion may help her land a nomination.

    Rooney Mara – has the cool vote going for her, she’s young, it’s a hip movie, it feels exciting, and I believe some voters will be excited enough to put her as their number 1 (while others will hate the film or be turned off by the violence and not include her at all). If she gets enough number 1 votes, she’ll get in. (If she gets nominated, I don’t see her winning. I believe a nomination would be her prize in such case. The fact it’s a trilogy is also hurting those chances, as it makes a role feel less “actory”).

    Tilda Swinton – I have not seen the film yet. She is getting raves, “the best performance of her career” and she has a SAG nomination. I have to say that when I first heard of the film, I said to myself “she has no chance in hell to get nominated with this one.” At this point I am not sure. I think she’s definitely not a lock, and is fighting for

    Charlize Theron – I personally thought she was brilliant. The film may turn some people off, and the performance is not “showy” the way other oscar-bait roles are. Whether she deserves to get nominated is irrelevant – I believe her chances are not that strong.

    Kirsten Dunst – a nice comeback, many people rave about her. Will voters watch the film? She won best actress at Cannes, so people are likely to watch. But she was left out at the SAG. The anti-Semitic comments of her director are surely not helping her. I don’t think it’s happening.

    Elizabeth Olsen – got enough buzz so that people will watch. People may not like the film. Or feel that the buzz was created more from the controversial film itself and not her performance. She didn’t get a SAG nomination. Too under the radar?

    Felicity Jones – no buzz, the movie disappeared from theaters without any impact.

    Keira Knightley – I am so bummed that she is not getting more buzz, I thought she was amazing. (All 3 leads were). I think she would have done so much better if she was pushed for a supporting actress. But when her name is first billing and her image most prominent on the movie poster, no one is going to buy that. So she suffers and is not getting nominated this year.

    Emma Stone – nope. Too many performances from one movie, it’s not her spotlight.

    Vanessa Redgrave – since when is she a lead? I thought she was a supporting actress?

    Anyway, here’s my chart for nominations as of now:

    1. Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    2. Viola Davis – The Help
    3. Michelle Williams
    4. Glenn Close
    5. Rooney Mara / Tilda Swinton
    7. Charlize Theron
    8. Elizabeth Olsen
    9. Keira Knightley

    And as for the win? I have no friggin clue. It’s exciting how this is a real race this year, for many of the categories. I think only the SAG win will give a clue as to where the wind is blowing.

  87. Alfredo
    December 29, 2011

    @Tardy for the Pardy

    Ok that’s understandable (also less hyperbolic than you’re original post). Theron is a fine actress but the film didn’t impact me the same way it did you. I’ve been lucky enough not to be around someone in my personal life that battles alcoholism but I also personally don’t know anyone that is a sex addict but Shame was able to stay with me. Different Strokes for different folks.

    Also OT but Ryan when will we begin the discussion of Best Performance by an Animal? I’m torn between the dog from Beginners and the dog from The Artist.

  88. JP
    December 29, 2011

    I think the 5 nominees will be the SAG ones. Glenn Close shouldn’t be nominated but in the end she probably will. Mara should take her place.

  89. Casey
    December 29, 2011

    Again I will mention OLIVIA COLMAN in TYRANNASAUR since my comment on her performance has gone unnoticed.

    Has no one seen this film?!

    No list is complete without her on it…. in the top position. Could anyone back me up? Or take my comment into effect and search out this brilliant film?

    ANYONE?

    :)

  90. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    @casey – I haven’t seen the film because it’s not out here yet.

    It’s definitely one that I want to see. I hear her performance is great, and from what I have seen she is definitely in the mix. It’s a tough year for female performances. You could come up with three different lists where people wouldn’t be shocked.

  91. December 29, 2011

    Total agreeance, Ryan! Great article! I don’t think I’ll ever forget it! And people, PUH=LEEZE! This is Sasha’s site. She and Ryan can express whatever and champion whatever THEY WANT. GET USED TO IT! Or get lost!

    That said, the box=office is disappointing. Just a little. That EW cover helps BIG TIME. Also what helps, Close’s and Streep’s movie BAAAAD reviews.

    Yes, one of them thar locks could go! Don’t be surprised! Glenn Close FINALLY wins an Oscar for Best Song? You know, that’s a scenario that could very likely happen!

    Rock on, Ryan, and Sasha!

  92. Cootie
    December 29, 2011

    It seems like Awards Daily has turned into The Rooney Mara Promotion Company lately

  93. Johnny B Goode
    December 29, 2011

    Mara did not understand the character of Lizbeth. Lisbeth is a warrior, a feminist, an avenger, crime fighter and dispensed justice. She is intelligent, creative and cleaver. Mara did not see that. You know what she brought to the table? A hideous distortion of Lisbeth as damaged goods. God sake people, wake up, Mara is really a nobody, she has no tract record and no real accomplishment unless you count a bit part in The Social Networks. What is this pretending she is the second coming of Katherine Hepburn or something.

    Rapace gave Lisbeth soul, she understood the character. She didn’t have to say much because she said it all with her eyes, with her body, with her movements. Understand that is what acting is about. With all its faults the Swedish version was honest, it had emotion. Prediction, Mara is not going very far. She cannot bring in the audience, There are a hundred girls lined waiting for her spot. Notice I said girls, she is not a woman.

  94. Cootie
    December 29, 2011

    Sasha Stone wrote: “that isn’t going to stop us from writing about what moves us. Hell, if we listened to you all this site would be so bland no one would read it.”

    Your job is to report on the Oscar race, not to promote a specific performance while ignoring others (as you are notorious for doing)

  95. December 29, 2011

    Prediction, Mara is not going very far

    Rooney Mara’s next movie is directed by Terrence Malick

  96. Alfredo
    December 29, 2011

    “Your job is to report on the Oscar race, not to promote a specific performance while ignoring others (as you are notorious for doing)”

    Oh lord, I don’t know how many times Sasha has defend herself and the site. It’s HER site. She dictates the content. If you don’t like it there are plenty of other Awards related websites that just give you the straight facts without letting their opinion be known. Frankly, for me, Sasha’s opinions make the site what it is. We are a community of film goers that love to discuss film.

  97. December 29, 2011

    @Johnny B. Goode Yeah, when The Who recorded My Generation back in 1965 it really sucked because they had no track record. Bunch of British assholes trying to be like, oh I dunno, Chuck Berry. It wasn’t until rock fans and critics arbitrarily decided they had put in enough time on stage that we could start saying they were good. Stupid fucking Rooney Mara should have done a bunch of other movies first. Lousy bitch thought she could give a great performance in her first lead? What an ego. Fincher’s a real dipshit for not casting Diane Keaton. SHE’S got the experience a rich character like Lisbeth requires in an actress.

  98. December 29, 2011

    Your job is to report on the Oscar race

    Cootie, you can talk to us like employees when you start writing the checks.

    We’re not civil servants supported by your tax dollars.

  99. Cootie
    December 29, 2011

    “It’s HER site. She dictates the content.”

    Then she should turn off the comments.

  100. December 29, 2011

    ^
    in fact, there are other ways to handle comments that won’t bother anybody but you.

  101. Alfredo
    December 29, 2011

    Cootie you are being a total cooter

  102. FilmFatale
    December 29, 2011

    CASEY-

    I saw Tyrannosaur and thought Olivia Colman was beyond words. Now THAT is real acting. She was also very fine as Thatcher’s daughter in The Iron Lady, and unrecognizable.

    At the risk of facing the wrath of Sasha and Ryan, I do somewhat agree with Johnny B. Goode — why are we heralding Rooney Mara as the second coming of … something? In my book, she turned in a semi-bad performance in the Elm Street reboot, was overpraised for one scene in The Social Network and now has delivered a very nice performance, truthfully, but she is still a novice and not quite a proven entity.

  103. Johnny B Goode
    December 29, 2011

    You may be right Ryan, Mara might be the next Vivian Leigh. Maybe Malick will be sorry he signed her too soon. I don’t think she understands life well enough to be a great actor. That’s me.

    Rapace, will be in Prometheus as well as Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell says she always falls in love with her characters and it shows. Whether she will be great of last only time will tell, but she is off to a good start. People for the most part like Rapace or are in different. Now so with Mara.

    What I find interesting is the that there are sides pro and con on Mara. Think about it. How often does an actor in a movie cause such divisiveness? On almost all discussion boards you find people fiercely pro and con. Having so many people against her cannot bode well for a career. People discuss her privileged background, how she comes off negatively in interviews, just a lot of assorted negativity attached to her. It is something to think about and consider.

    They didn’t release the box office for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo today. It might mean nothing, we will have to see.

  104. December 29, 2011

    They didn’t release the box office for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo today. It might mean nothing, we will have to see.

    MoJo doesn’t have the numbers but it had earned $4.1m Wednesday — down 8% from Tuesday

    Sherlock Holmes 2 dropped 11%
    Ghost Protocol dropped 11%
    War Horse dropped 11%

  105. Bobby C
    December 29, 2011

    Here’s hoping Olsen gets a nod! :)

  106. December 29, 2011

    You may be right Ryan, Mara might be the next Vivian Leigh

    I’ll have to check the transcripts, but I don’t think that’s quite the argument I was making.

    ;-)

  107. Casey
    December 29, 2011

    Thank you film fatale.

    mattock I hope you can see soon

    Olivia colman ftw

  108. December 29, 2011

    In my book, she turned in a semi-bad performance in the Elm Street reboot

    yeah, see, I wasn’t really sure that was relevant.

    I feel the remainder of your paragraph is incorrect.

  109. Robert A.
    December 29, 2011

    “I don’t think she understands life well enough to be a great actor.”

    And how could you possibly know this? Do you know her personally? What criteria does the average Johnny B. Goode sitting in a movie theater use to measure something like this?

    “People for the most part like Rapace or are in different. Now so with Mara.”

    Have you read some of the comments on the other AD threads? Because I’ve seen a lot of discussion of Rapace vs. Mara, first version vs. Fincher’s version etc, and to me it seems like it’s been pretty evenly divided between which actress gives the better interpretation of Lisbeth.

    “Having so many people against her cannot bode well for a career. People discuss her privileged background”

    You mean like Kate Hepburn had? I guess Kate also didn’t understand enough about life to be a good actress?

    “how she comes off negatively in interviews”

    Kind of the same thing some people once said about Faye Dunaway.

  110. Houstonrufus
    December 29, 2011

    I haven’t seen the film. I look forward to seeing it though.

    But if I have anything other than a positive spin on the movie or Mara or the character, I don’t feel like there is a point in airing it here. I’ve been watching from a certain distance, but I notice if you’re a guy and you criticize the movie, your opinion is automatically dismissed by Sasha. I’ve noticed certain other tendencies as well to dismiss whites who criticize The Help and men moved by War Horse as basically being infants. In other words, if you don’t agree with her then your opinion is automatically negated because you’re unable to “get” the film based on who you are. I find it ironic then that Sasha then also dismisses anyone who criticizes Shame because they don’t understand male sexuality as well as she does? The common thread in all this is that rather than engage in actual discussion, Sasha just calls anyone who disagrees with her wrong. Well, what kind of discussion is that?

    I sincerely enjoyed the site when I first started visiting earlier this year, but I’ve been increasingly turned off. I only say this because I do enjoy Sasha’s writing from time to time. The article yesterday on Spielberg, Scorsese and Allen was excellent. I’d enjoy more of that and less bashing of commenters who have arrived at a different point of view.

  111. brandz
    December 29, 2011

    Three locks: Streep, Davis, Williams

    One probable: Swinton

    One open: And I don’t think it’s Close

  112. December 29, 2011

    I’d enjoy more of that and less bashing of commenters who have arrived at a different point of view.

    Houstonrufus,
    Do you think I’ve bashed anybody in the comments here today?

    Do you notice the bashing I got? The bashing Sasha gets? That’s ok with you, I guess. So long as we never defend ourselves, never hit back?

  113. Robert A.
    December 29, 2011

    “Three locks: Streep, Davis, Williams

    One probable: Swinton

    One open: And I don’t think it’s Close”

    Brandz, this seems pretty accurate to me. I’ve been thinking this for the past three weeks or so. I could still see Close sliding into that 5th slot, of course, but something about her position in the race feels very shaky. I guess the good news for Close is that (so far) no candidate has picked up enough steam to shake her loose from that fifth slot. Mara or Theron seem like the best bets for bumping her off, at this point.

  114. Alfredo
    December 29, 2011

    Ryan you’re supposed to tell the teacher if someone is picking on you.

  115. December 29, 2011

    I sincerely enjoyed the site when I first started visiting earlier this year, but I’ve been increasingly turned off.

    Let me ask you this.
    How would it make you feel if I singled you out and said:

    I sincerely enjoyed Houstonrufus when he first started visiting earlier this year, but I’ve been increasingly turned off by his comments.

    Is that nice a thing? Have I ever come at you like that? It would be kinda weird for me to do that, wouldn’t it? Just announce out of the blue to everybody how much you’re beginning to turn me off.*

    What’s the difference? Honestly. Please tell me: What gives you the right to say how you feel about what I write, if I’m not allowed to say how I feel about what you write?

    *(you’re not turning me off.)

  116. December 29, 2011

    Ryan you’re supposed to tell the teacher if someone is picking on you.

    ha. I was never that kid.
    I settle my own scores.

  117. Alfredo
    December 29, 2011

    Poor Mrs. Adams…bet she had plenty of visits with the principal.

  118. Houstonrufus
    December 29, 2011

    Ryan, fair enough. But I’m not running a blog either. I haven’t opened myself up to that kind of responsibility, warranted or not.

    You guys put up with a lot of abuse. I’m not talking about commenters who come on here and say ridiculous things that are insulting or moronic. Frankly, I don’t even know why you would address them anyway. But I’d say they are fair game. I’m talking about a tendency I’ve seen to dismiss genuine differences of opinion targeting people’s inability to understand something based on who they are or where they come from. Frankly, my comment was misplaced because it’s not so much directed at you, Ryan. So I apologize for taking up space and taking up your time. I was prompted because obviously this movie is inspiring strong reactions, and I’ve noticed there seems to be very little middle ground with several movies as far as this site is concerned. And it’s a trend I find troubling and alienating for visitors like me who don’t want to find my opinions dismissed simply because I’m white or male or gay or for some other superficial reason. That serves nothing and no one, certainly not this site.

  119. December 29, 2011

    [True story: 4th and 5th grade, I was the class disruptor. It was always me getting sent to principal's office. And the principal never gave me a hard time. He just let me sit in his office and read.]

  120. December 29, 2011

    Dear writer of site,

    I at times do not agree with what you say. Therefore, you have an agenda and really suck. If you write something mean about me, I will cry into my beer and then change my name and post again with added vitriol. I will also make insult your children, your sexuality, your motives, and your qualifications.

    Sincerely,

    Malick McPseudonym

  121. December 29, 2011

    So I apologize for taking up space and taking up your time.

    Don’t say that. I responded to your concerns because I wanted to.

    I hope you notice sometimes we come to the defense of other readers — it’s not always self-defense. A lot of my day is spent backing up other readers whose opinions are getting hammered.

  122. David
    December 29, 2011

    Great article and I totally agree even though I’m like 95% sure Mara won’t be nominated. I can still hope though.

    Also, I wish people could stop bashing Ryan and Sasha just because their sharing their views on the movies and performances they liked. If you disagree you can do so but you don’t have to accuse the site of being biased or whatever because films are 100% subjective and there will always be a natural bias in everyone towards films and performances that move them. They post plenty of non-Dragon Tattoo related articles and updates that are just as well written as this one, and if you still can’t handle it then you don’t need to come to this site everyday to post about how you hate it. Be respectful guys, geez.

  123. Casey
    December 29, 2011

    Best actress in my perfect world

    Olivia Coleman
    Kirsten Dunst
    Ellen Barkin
    Rooney Mara
    Glen Close

    Tilda Swinton
    Charlize Theron

    (yep 7) :)

  124. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    It’s getting hot in here, so let’s take off our clothes.

  125. julian the emperor
    December 29, 2011

    Is Mara’s performance “too perverse, too sexy, too violent” for the Academy, asks Sasha. I don’t know, is that the best kind of recommendation you can come up with? Is perversion, sex and violence a quality per se? Just curious.

    And why do you feel the need to continuously single out critics as white, middle-aged men? And why the phrase; “standing with their dicks out…”?

  126. December 29, 2011

    julian the emperor

    I wrote this, not Sasha.

    If you’re saying it reads like something Sasha would write, I’m deeply gratified by the compliment.

    I used the phrase “standing with their dicks out” because I like how it sounds.

    I never said a word about white middle-age men. I’m not sure how you keep tripping over that concept when it’s not there. Try to stop reading between the lines.

    ;-)

  127. Porter
    December 29, 2011

    the women who should REALLY be nominated are Swinton, Streep, Mara, Theron and Dunst. Olsen also deserves it…

  128. December 29, 2011

    Is Mara’s performance “too perverse, too sexy, too violent” for the Academy, asks Sasha. I don’t know, is that the best kind of recommendation you can come up with? Is perversion, sex and violence a quality per se? Just curious.

    julian the emperor, my friend.

    I cite Perverse Sexy Violence because those three things are culled directly from the Fincher’s own quotes and Denby’s essay.

    Sasha’s not asking about it. I am. Fincher and Denby fuckin brought it up. I’m only riffing off their words.

    What’s up with the syntax dissection? Just curious.

  129. Craig Z
    December 29, 2011

    film Fatale, Duvall was horrible in The Shining. Not exactly the best point. Agree with your sentiment but bad example IMO

  130. December 29, 2011

    Bravo Ryan. Great piece. Mara deserves a nomination for certain regardless of what the haters say. What truly bothers me is that most of the morons who grouse have not seen all the contenders. To me that makes their opinion null and void. Shut up about the Best Actress race unless you’ve actually seen the potential nominees!

  131. Mattoc
    December 29, 2011

    I like Duvall in just about anything…including The Shinin’

    I often wonder , when I alone, with my dick hanging out, what she would have made of Iris in Taxi Driver?

  132. moviehub
    December 29, 2011

    Rooney won’t get nominated for best actress….first her role doesn’t invlove real acting skills, the movie was a mess, Daniel Craig carried the movie with her…..The academy doesn’t nominate a role in which the actress completely shallow like wearing a shirt written on it “Fuck the fucking fuck”, her character is not likeable…..this movie will shut out in the Oscars. Not a chance.

  133. Sunshine
    December 29, 2011

    LOL .

  134. OLIN
    December 29, 2011

    “first her role doesn’t invlove real acting skills”

    guess you missed her faux Swedish accent. also that she spent around ninety or so seconds “acting” like a fat man shoved his penis into her anal cavity.

  135. Pierre de Plume
    December 30, 2011

    Jeez, this thread isn’t for the squeamish. Some of the criticism is so nonsensical I feel like some people didn’t get what they wanted for Xmas or something.

    Ryan, it’s loud and clear that you loved this film, especially Mara’s performance. Your writing reflects that and it’s exhilarating to read. To me, she was the best thing about the film and it would be exciting to see her get a nomination. Championing her performance is well within the purview of this site.

    And I can’t let any of the above praise for Theron slip by without comment. She certainly played her part well in some respects but in the end created an unfinished, uninteresting character. No way does she deserve a nomination. Mara can bump Streep, Swinton, or Close and I’ll be fine with it.

  136. Sonja
    December 30, 2011

    “Mara can bump Streep, Swinton, or Close and I’ll be fine with it.”

    In no way Mara (even if it’s possible) will bump Streep or Swinton.
    Both are showing up on every critic circle awards at least as nominees with Williams, where Close and even Davis had missed some. They have that spot for sure.
    So only Close is possible, but I just think it’s too soon for Mara to get in.

  137. Freddie Mercurcy
    December 30, 2011

    My favorite performance of the year is Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  138. The Horse in War Horse
    December 30, 2011

    If they make a franchise out of this, don’t you think the Academy will wait to nominate Mara? If she’s just as good in all the other films, she will eventually be nominated. Or… maybe it was a fluke. Instead, I would like Dunst, Olsen, or Theron nominated instead. #justiceforKiki

  139. Kt
    December 30, 2011

    Oohh I forgot to add something- sorry I’m not trying to be a pest!

    Theron was the runner up for National Board of Review best actress. I just found that out this week. It’s probably old news but I don’t htink this site reported runner ups in any of the categories? Theron fans rejoice!

  140. murtaza
    December 30, 2011

    steven zaillian never saw the swedish film?????????
    biggest lie of the bygone year. american dragon tattoo and swedish dragon tattoo are almost same. there is no significant difference.
    noomi’s performance was better. she should’ve been nominated last year after BFCA and BAFTA.
    and yes it seems sasha is campaigning for mara and dragon tattoo severely since last few days whereas the film is not worthy enough. no offense, i like what sasha writes and the way she thinks but not on this.
    and another overrated movie was hugo, just because it was martin scorsese film for kids doesn’t make it anywhere near a masterpiece. it was a plain good film, which might deserve a best picture nod but not director. it looked like tim burton film to me.

  141. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    @murtaza – it’s been pointed out before but I’ll do it now since everyone is probably asleep. Sasha did not write this article, Ryan did.

    And I think the word you’re looking for is championing rather than campaigning? Where I come from there the same thing, but not in the US apparently.

    I love going to the movies and I loved Hugo. It seems like such a waste of time criticizing a movie you like don’t you think?

  142. Dominik
    December 30, 2011

    Casey: Totally agree with you, Olivia Colman is great and moving in “Tyrannosaur” (and also Peter Mullan, by the way). I´m really baffled why she is totally overlooked by all critics groups, and that´s quite another proof that movie awards are not a relevant berometer to learn anything about the quality of films or performances. It´s about your own subjective opinion, no matter what critics or guilds or award groups say.
    Who knows, maybe the people will talk in a couple of years the same way about Coleman in Tyrannosaur such as they speak about Jeremy Irons who was overlooked for his brilliant performance in “Dead Ringers” in the late 80s? (I guess Irons at least got a critics group mention)
    Same for Kirsten Dunst. Besides, since we have learned lately by some commentator that some kind of “Best of Summer”- Movie Award exists, why not create something like a “Best overlooked performance/film”-Award at the end of the season? I´ll bet those list will easily hold a candle to the upcoming Oscar Nomination list!

  143. Glenn
    December 30, 2011

    Oh my, I cannot believe some of the crap I read on here. For one, Tilda Swinton is a lock. She currently stands in second place with critic award wins (Williams way ahead) and Tilda did get quite a number of 2nd place votes with critics too. She got a Golden Globe nomination, she got a SAG nomination …… she WILL get a BAFTA nomination – IT’S A LOCK PEOPLE!!! Please stop trying to push Tilda out of the race to get Mara in ……. it will not happen, at least not at the expense of Tilda. If you are trying to push Tilda out of the race, then you have not seen the movie and you certainly have not been watching the race so far! In an ideal world, Tilda SHOULD win ….. be as we know this isn’t an ideal world ….. far from it!

    Mara did an OK job in an OK movie in my opinion. Dragon is 40 minutes too long and if honest I preferred Noomi’s performance if comparing. I get that this site is hot for anything Fincher and will not rest until he gets rewarded with an Oscar. But I really do not see Dragon getting enough number one’s for Best Picture and if Mara is going to bump someone, then its going to be huge news! Close is the best to bump in my opinion but if Close gets in then its hers to lose – they Academy will be showering its golden glory all over Glenn.

  144. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    I posted this elsewhere, but I will repeat it here, cause many seem to think that Streep has no chance due to film being poor. I have now seen Tyrannosaur as well, so here goes… If it really was up to the picture’s quality and not the performance – then Tilda Swinton should win. IMO:

    We Need to Talk About Kevin 5/5
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 4/5
    Tyrannosaur 4/5
    The Help 3/5
    Martha Marcy May Marlene 3/5
    The Iron Lady 2/5
    Melancholia 2/5
    My Week with Marilyn 2/5

    I have not seen Albert Nobbs or Young Adult yet. I know many of you like Melancholia, but I don’t.

    Having said this:

    LOCKS:

    Streep, Williams, Davis

    LIKELY:

    Swinton

    5th PLACE:

    Theron, Dunst, Mara, Olsen, Close, Colman

    Which leads us to – MOST LIKELY SCENARIO:

    Davis, Streep, Swinton, Theron, Williams

    I’d love it if Swinton was an actual lock, but I fear that voters may not watch it all through (‘Dragon Tattoo’ is far from being dark compared to ‘Kevin’). If they do watch the first 15 minutes even, she is in. On the other hand, the film grabs you so well that it’s hard to imagine them NOT seeing the whole of it.

  145. Koko
    December 30, 2011

    Don’t dare disagree with SASHA, her boys will be out to get you. Hi Ryan!

  146. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    @Glenn – just because you feel strongly about Tilda does not make everyone else’s comments redundant.
    In my opinion, Tilda was great – but the movie was laughable and I can’t get past that. Regardless of my opinion of this film I still think she deserves to get a nomination. Critics awards has nothing to do with AMPAS but the SAG is a good sign.

    This is a strong year and there are going to be disappointments. Chin up little camper.

  147. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    @tero – you did not like Melancholia? That’s a shame. I got quite a bit out of it and I love the direction and the anticipation of where he is going as a …director. He is the best director in the world – ask him yourself ;)

  148. Glenn
    December 30, 2011

    Mattoc – if you re-read my post you will see that it says in my opinion. You found the film laughable – I found nothing to laugh at. And going off the critical reviews of the film, I don’t think others found it laughable either. You totally read my post wrong – yes I want to champion Tild because I THINK she deserves it. The point of my post was that people on here are quick to bump Tilda off the list without looking at the bigger picture. She looks like the easy option for some reason … probably because people have not yet seen the film for whatever reason. That is all I was expressing. That and the fact that IN MY OPINION I did not really rate Mara as anything but good …… the same OPINION I HAVE for Meryl too. We don’t have to agree with everything that is written on her by Sasha, Ryan et al. Some people are followers, some people have minds of their own – I categorise myself in the latter.

  149. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    Mattoc: I know von Trier (maybe half-jokingly) thinks he’s the greatest, and he IS quite up there. His Melancholia and the previous (Antichrist) were not up there – IMO. Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark – for example – are complete masterpieces. And I have seen ALL movies (even TV stuff) by this director.

    I thought Melancholia was a mess where Dunst’ performance was really overrated. Gainsbourg was better than Dunst.

  150. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    Glenn, I read it correctly.

    In regards to Kevin. I found it laughable. Not the subject matter of course, just the execution. I appreciate that I’m really really in the minority. I expected to like it, I had been looking forward to it since Cannes.

    Some things ring true to some people given their life experiences and whatnot …

    I haven’t seen Dragon Tattoo but am looking forward to it.

  151. December 30, 2011

    I’ll chime in with the support for Olivia Colman, if I may. Hers was my favourite female performance of the year. But, in the theme of this post, I also liked Rooney Mara very much.

  152. Bob Burns
    December 30, 2011

    The old boys hate Lisbeth.

    Fincher wears out his actors… gets past their hammy bs.

  153. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    Tero, absolutely! Gainsbourg was excellent. I liked Keifer and almost pissed my pants every time Stellan was on screen. I’ve never seen such an odd character. I can’t watch Breaking the Waves again – it’s something you see once I think. I saw it twice in the theatre. No more.

  154. murtaza
    December 30, 2011

    @ mattoc
    i never said i hated hugo, it wasn’t a masterpiece that’s all, the way it’s being treated, it’s certainly not scorsese’s best.

  155. iggy
    December 30, 2011

    @Ryan

    Et tu, Brute? :(

  156. murtaza
    December 30, 2011

    i would prefer rooney or colman over glenn close, that in my opinion was a laughable movie from start to finish. a horrendous experience to go through. glenn close if not rewarded for all the good work she has done till now should better be left out of the race this year again.

  157. Edwin Drood
    December 30, 2011

    Rooney Mara is so cold in the best actress race the only thing she could possibly heat up is a long-missing corpse in the dead of a Swedish winter. Given that Noomi Rapace became an international star just last year for creating this role, the film is tanking at the box office and has received barely-passable reviews, there is no reason for AMPAS to honor Rooney Mara ahead of a half-dozen-or-so other actresses fighting for 4th and 5th slots. Sorry, fanboys-and-girls, but it just isn’t happening…

  158. Daveylow
    December 30, 2011

    I guess I’ll post my opinion too. I really liked Mara’s performance. But because Rapace did such a great job in the Swedish version it was hard for me to be bowled over by Mara.

    I also found Zallian’s take on the novel much less suspenseful and horrifying than the Swedish version where you really grew to hate the whole family. The American version glosses over solving the mystery of the murders, doesn’t really show Mickeal and Lisbeth working together, and doesn’t evoke the evil of the whole family.

    Fincher’s film is well crafted but he is master of suspense in this particular film.

  159. Daveylow
    December 30, 2011

    Should say above that Fincher is no master of suspense in this particular film.

  160. Kt
    December 30, 2011

    “And I can’t let any of the above praise for Theron slip by without comment. She certainly played her part well in some respects but in the end created an unfinished, uninteresting character. No way does she deserve a nomination. Mara can bump Streep, Swinton, or Close and I’ll be fine with it.”

    Unfinished character? How so? Because there is no big, redemptive moment? She never changes? That’s the point. She will go about the rest of her life being a narcissistic asshole because she truly believes she’s better than the folks of Mercury. Were you paying attention to the conversation at the very end between Sandra and Mavis? And then the voice over? I won’t give away the convo for those who haven’t seen the film but it’s extremely telling.

    As for your claims that she’s an uninteresting character, I completely disagree. It’s pretty evident Mavis hides in the memories of old songs, reality TV, and skewed memories of childhood– but she is struggling socially, professionally, and probably financially. The film presents an all-too-real character study of a woman seeking love, friendship, redemption, validation from the wrong places before that final plunge into destruction. That’s about as interesting as a movie can get! The contrast Diablo Cody/Reitman create with the folks of Mercury is genius. I’m a Midwesterner, so I can say with a certain amount of authority that it’s a pretty good depiction. Sasha had problems with it and I don’t know if she’s ever lived in the Midwest but I lived in a town in Iowa for 10 years and it wasn’t all that different from Mercury.

    I think it’s also a brilliant depiction of how high school can truly affect someone. In Mavis’ case, she has yet to escape that mindset. Coupled with the fact that she has serious validation issues present-day, it’s an intriguing character study.

    Alright, I won’t write an essay here but I do think you should rethink some of your criticisms of the film and maybe rematch it. You might find yourself enjoying it or at the very least appreciating it more! There’s so much WIN in this film, I love it too much. Maybe it’s the inner-misanthrope in me that responds to it too well :)

    p.s. I really like the cover of that EW! Just trying to stay on point ;)

  161. murtaza
    December 30, 2011

    i agree with DAVEYLOW. this has been my opinion too from day one.

  162. December 30, 2011

    @ Edwin Drood

    It appears you have an agenda. It isn’t tanking at the box office and its reviews are not barely passable. Mildly disappointing takings and reviews have inspired its naysayers to blow its performance out of proportion. I’m so sick of people writing it off on results which might have secured its success were its expectations not so high.

  163. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Ah, you wrote this piece; Ryan….sorry! Went back an reread the article, suddenly it makes more sense, knowing it’s you (I really should have known it was you from the very first paragraph; “has got me by the balls”….;)).

    I’m just very curious of this constant alluding to sex, violence and perversity when it comes to TGWTDT; is that really the best selling point of the story? Well, I guess it is…But why not steer the discussion of this movie in a more interesting direction? Why the focus on these three words, you could as well use other lazy terms as “cool” or “edgy” (hence our little discussion just the other day), because that’s exactly what those three words signal when you bring them on like that…isn’t it?

    Besides: this is (an intended, let’s wait and see how far it gets) money-grabber (the fact that the sequels are still not in-production only accentuates that), obviously no one wanted this particular movie to be just about either sex, violence or perversity, except for cutting-edge bloggers trying to ignite some interest in an otherwise stale concept; the largely take-by-take remake of a two year old Swedish movie with an already iconic performance at its center (I don’t for a minute believe Zaillian’s claim that he has never seen the original! But it’s hilarious that he is trying to fool us…)

    Besides; I think, definitely, that the Academy is ready to embrace “sex, perversion and violence” when it’s done better than what TGWTDT has to offer. We Need To Talk About Kevin is just one example and Swinton, after all, is doing mighty fine with the precursors and looks like a lock to me (though some claims she is still in a vulnerable spot). Now, that’s real, menacing darkness, right there! If the Academy is ready to embrace that, surely they would feel ready to embrace Fincher’s and Mara’s take on a dark subject matter…that is, if they find the vision behind it – and the execution of it – compelling enough (which I doubt they will).

    Btw, looking forward to more articles from you, Ryan. You are a very good read:)

  164. Gentle Benj
    December 30, 2011

    Slight reality check: after BENJAMIN BUTTON received a mystifying (and nearly record-tying!) 13 Oscar nominations, and after last year’s critical bukkake on THE SOCIAL NETWORK’s willing face, no Fincher film can ever, ever again, be considered an unexpected awards choice, or a risky one. He is mainstream.

  165. Julia
    December 30, 2011

    You’ve seen the screen tests of various actresses reading for the role of Scarlett O’Hara?

    No, but I’ve seen the screen tests for Rebecca and Vivien Leigh was absolutely terrible in them. Not to take away from her Scarlett O’Hara performance but she was really terrible as the second Mrs. de Winter. I have to say my good opinion of her as an actress has trouble coping with that screen test. It wasn’t that she was the wrong type for the role; she was in costume and visually convincing but her line delivery… all other aspects of her acting were just wrong.

    Personally I would never believed before seeing those screen tests that Joan Fontaine was the best choice for the role… But she was, hands down.

    I have no idea why anyone thinks Mara is a serious candidate. First of all, her get-up tricks even serious critics into wondering whether she is good in that role or just look good for the role. This can be a boon but might not.

    Second Mara is missing every precursor award that matters aside from the GG which needed to fill 10 Best Actress spots, shifting Williams and Davis to Comedy. No SAG, no major critics group, even the nominations in the critics groups were thin on the ground. Add to this that this movie is by no means exceptionally beloved by critics or audiences (in fact, its budget might allow to even call it a box office bomb) and you end up with nothing but hype.

    That EW cover is a lie. People are not fascinated by Lisbeth enough to even watch her instead of Alvin and the Chipmunks, let alone a mediocre Sherlock Holmes or the fourthquel of a Tom Cruise vehicle.

    The audiences aren’t going for this movie, the critics haven’t, the guilds won’t if the SAG is any indication, so can someone give me a reason why the Academy will aside from “oh sometimes they do some unpredictable things.” And even if that were a real argument instead of grasping at straws, I have some serious doubt that the unpredictable nomination will go to Mara instead of the beloved Woody H. or someone from A Separation.

  166. gabriel
    December 30, 2011

    @Glenn I love you. I think Tilda is a lock too. In a IDEAL world she will win an Oscar for “Kevin”.

    Tilda for “Kevin”:

    Won:
    Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
    European Film Award for Best Actress
    Houston Film Critics Award for Best Actress
    National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
    San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
    Telluride Film Festival (tribute)

    Nominated:

    BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film
    Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
    Indiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
    San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
    Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress (runner-up)
    Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
    Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
    Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Courage in Acting
    London Film Critics Circle Award for Actress of the Year
    London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actress of the Year
    Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Actress
    Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
    Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
    Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
    Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

    WILL get:

    BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

    And Finally:

    Academy Award for Best Actress

    Everybody’s have a fear about it, ’cause of the it girls or Close’s spot. But Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs is a doll! Janet McTeer is much much better than her… I still think Theron or Mara could be taking Close’s spot.

  167. December 30, 2011

    I have not seen Albert Nobbs or Young Adult yet.”

    Tero,
    Let me help you out
    Albert Nobbs 3/5
    Young Adult 3/5

    (I could’ve been meaner, but trying to give a fair assessment, factoring in consensus. I can’t imagine I’ll sit through either one of them again though, so Young Adult was borderline 2/5 — for me)

    I can see we have a problem here with people — even smart people — confusing a dark psychological horror like We Need to Talk About Kevin with a rougher genre film like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that’s violent, sexy, perverse.

    (there are those pesky words again — I’m gonna keep throwing those words in the face of julian the emperor until he remembers THAT’S WHAT THRILLER PULP FICTION IS ALL ABOUT. Why is that so hard to swallow?)

    If it were only the movie’s grown-up intensity I thought was an issue, then I’d be saying something stupid like “Oooh, is Dragon Tattoo too R-Rated for the Academy?”

    The R-rating isn’t what I think will put people off. The darkness isn’t the problem.

    If Tilda Swinton got assraped by Kevin then you guys would have a point.

    Kevin is a darker film than Dragon Tattoo. Darkness is not a concern.

  168. Julia
    December 30, 2011

    Fincher wears out his actors… gets past their hammy bs.

    Haha, there was enough ham in The Social Network to feed a small family for a year, pretty much everyone hammed it up on more than one occasion aside from Eisenberg who was hindered by Fincher choosing the takes where he did close to nothing. Add the schmaltz of Benjamin Button and there might actually be enough food stuff in Fincher’s directing to solve the hunger problem forever.

    Let’s face it. Fincher hasn’t found the trick to a great performance either. To paraphrase Lars von Trier who can get Oscar-worthy performances out of nearly anyone – some actors get better the more takes they do, some get worse. The only result you get from doing a lot of takes is having a bit more freedom in the editing room. But creating a performance in the editing room is not getting the best out of an actor.

  169. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    “If Tilda Swinton got assraped by Kevin then you guys would have a point.”

    She got to see all-nude Kevin masturbating and ENJOYING his mother seeing it. In a mother-son relationship that is as perverse as things can be. And I loved that scene for being brave.

    In a perfect world, Swinton would win her second Oscar. No-one can say that that trophy was given for a bad movie (and with that award more and more people would see this little gem). Streep is my second favourite, then Colman, and the rest are pretty far behind.

  170. December 30, 2011

    The old boys hate Lisbeth.
    Fincher wears out his actors… gets past their hammy bs.

    Bob Burns! ding ding ding!
    You nailed it. (and I like your hard-boiled style.)

    I had already quoted so extensively in this piece, I trimmed a great observation about Fincher’s technique.

    Fincher, 49, has an almost mythic reputation for obsessiveness, particularly because of a shooting style that favors a huge amount of takes — an approach he feels that does away with artificial, calibrated movement to arrive at a hopefully less self-conscious performance.

    As that paragraph says — this is a legendary method and its purpose is widely understood. But it’s worth articulating, worth repeating, so that more people learn about it.

    Thanks again, Bob.

  171. December 30, 2011

    She got to see all-nude Kevin masturbating and ENJOYING his mother seeing it. In a mother-son relationship that is as perverse as things can be.

    That was perverse. That was a bold moment.

    It still doesn’t compare on to the scale of 2 different rape scenes.

    (the scale I’m using — It measures how much a typical silent-majority Academy member can handle. Doesn’t matter how much you or I can handle. It’s Mickey Rooney I’m worried about.)

  172. December 30, 2011

    IT’S A LOCK PEOPLE!!! Please stop trying to push Tilda out of the race to get Mara in ……. it will not happen, at least not at the expense of Tilda

    My hands are clean. Check the 2nd or 3rd comment at the top of the column. The locks I see are Davis, Swinton and Streep.

    I’m frankly beginning to feel that Close and Williams both would be boring lazy choices. I love them both, but these roles are not impressive. Both those roles are very much HBO/Masterpiece Classics.

    Coleman and Mara would brilliantly round out the slate of Best Actress nominees.

  173. Glenn
    December 30, 2011

    I think the main problem I have with Dragon is that it has been done too soon after the Swedish version which reached its required audience and made such a name for Rappace. The only reason I can think why Hollywood made it so quickly is because its a film franchise. I think Fincher thought he may be making a “Silence of the Lambs” for the 21st century but it seriously lacked any kind of meat and suspense in comparison to Lambs. And it had nowhere near the same character depth. It did look good though, I will give it that.

  174. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    Rooney can’t take shit. Seriously, he can’t do it anymore. Young Kevin and Rooney has that in common.

    Joking aside.

    Rape is considerably more terrifying than a masturbation scene of perverted kind (normally masturbation is more than fine when rape is never fine). But I think neither scenes would hurt chances in Best Actress category (where you are allowed to be bolder than in Best Picture, for example) – on the contrary. Actors appreciate it when someone in their own branch goes totally brave.

  175. Glenn
    December 30, 2011

    And thanks Gabriel …… loving your Tilda love!!!!!

  176. December 30, 2011

    murtaza –

    steven zaillian never saw the swedish film?????????
    biggest lie of the bygone year.

    julian the emperor

    (I don’t for a minute believe Zaillian’s claim that he has never seen the original! But it’s hilarious that he is trying to fool us…)

    I haven’t seen the 2nd and 3rd Swedish installments.
    I tried to watch the first one about a year ago. But I thought it was awful so I quit after about 40 minutes.

    (Ask Craig Kennedy about this, because we argued about my disdain for the Swedish adaptation in the summer of 2010.)

    I finally sat down and forced myself to slog through it the week before Fincher’s version premiered. There you have it. I didn’t watch the precious Swedish version until about 2 weeks ago.

    Am I liar too? Is it really so inconceivable to imagine there are people who don’t want to sit through a Swedish TV movie? Since when is the original film version of Dragon Tattoo the Citizen Kane of Swedish thrillers? It’s plodding, workmanlike, with no cinematic style whatsoever.

    Why would a writer want to see another screenwriter’s version and risk having it corrupt the integrity of his own take?

    I don’t read reviews of movies before I see the film. I don’t read what Kris Tapley or Jeff Wells say every day. Are you guys going to call me a liar? I don’t want to read what other writers do with material I write about. I don’t want to be influenced. I want my take to be fresh.

    You guys are quite hilarious to think a screenwriter like Zaillian is sneaking around watching a mediocre Swedish TV movie and pretending to be above it all.

    He is above that. So am I. I found the Swedish movie tedious. Zaillian understands how writers need to keep a clear vision of their own work.

    Mock us both as liars if you want to. It’s absurd, the things you guys find to be petty about.

  177. December 30, 2011

    But I think neither scenes would hurt chances in Best Actress category…

    Tero, now you’re making me sad.

    If Tilda Swinton as Kevin’s mother had jacked Kevin off, then there would be a valid comparison between the sexual shock-value of Kevin and Dragon Tattoo.

  178. John
    December 30, 2011

    I just think Mara has a lot going against her.

    -There is a very strong 4 (Streep, Davis, Williams, Swinton (SAG, GG, likely BAFTA).

    -That leaves 1 slot between Close (who has SAG and a strong narrative), Theron (who has her supporters for sure), Paquin (who I think WILL get a lot of #1′s now that Margaret is being seen, Olsen (who I think still has an outside shot), and Rooney Mara (who likely has very few supporters in the AMPAS acting branch). Also, the film is not up AMPAS’ alley. And the comparisons to Noomi Rapace are a bit damaging, as well.

    I could see Mara getting nominated, but I think it’s a far, far, shot.

  179. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    I was not comparing rape and masturbation, other than both had sex-shock value. You already admitted that ‘Kevin’ was perverted. Both would be mentioned in the year’s top ten bold moments.

    I do know the difference that one only harms the mind whereas the other harms the mind, soul, body, everything. You know which is which.

  180. December 30, 2011

    I do know the difference that one only harms the mind whereas the other harms the mind, soul, body, everything. You know which is which.

    …er…
    one of them harms the mind? then i’m fucked.

  181. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    I’d like to know what did you think about Eva (Swinton’s character)? Did you feel for her like I did? She was not your average mother. Was she partially the reason why Kevin became such a fucked up person? Not spoiling much by saying how much he loved his father (played brilliantly by John C. Reilly).

    I need to see this again to start really analysing it. I am not familiar with the book.

    My sister has eight children. I will show this film to her once it gets its blu-ray release in a couple of months. I want to see how a mother sees this.

    Is it a horror film? No. A drama filled with horrifying events.

  182. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Ryan, that scene in WNTTAK will probably stir up the Academy a lot more than the anal rape scenes in TGWTDT (which is really just yet another example of the kind of graphic violence Hollywood delivers on a daily basis, I think most people are pretty used to it, even within the Academy). But I could be wrong.
    The scene in WNTTAK is much, MUCH more subversive and “dangerous” (and, yes, perverse!), and much more uncomfortable for most viewers, I would think.

    Yes, there is a difference between the kind of psychological horror that Ramsay is getting at and Fincher’s “pulpy entertainment”. True. One is subtle, intelligent and though-provoking, the other is just…well…pulpy entertainment. Or is it? Do you think Fincher would agree on that, btw? Labeling his work as pulpy?

    Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE pulpy movies. Drive was my number one movie of the year. But if Fincher’s film is pulp, then I STILL don’t really get it, I must admit. The pulp of Drive invigorates the movie, it has an apparent, but ultimately misleading, anti-substance feel to it (because the style and what it references, is so obvious), but with TGWTDT the pulp aspect is only there when you think about the “pulp fiction” of the source material (a book that fails as great literature, but compels as a page-turner).

    Fincher doesn’t deliver pulp to me, he delivers a very LITERAL take on the dark/perverse thematics of the novel (he is not as interested in the narrative, i.e. the whole Vanger family business as Arden Oplev, granted). But it is a bleak, nihilistic perspective on humanity that permeates almost every frame of TGWTDT. To say that is just pulp and it is supposed to be like that, is really just another way of dismissing it.

    In that case, Drive is visionary, playful pulp and TGWTDT is thought-less, nihilistic pulp. And I don’t see the value of the latter.

  183. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    “…er…
    one of them harms the mind? then i’m fucked.”

    Haha. I meant the mother-son-kinda thing. Not the normal kind.

  184. December 30, 2011

    “Do you think Fincher would agree on that, btw? Labeling his work as pulpy?”

    I think he absolutely KNOWS the original novel was pulpy.
    Then I think he elevated it beyond the pulp elements.

    Kathleen Kennedy, one of that film’s producers, told him she had found another book she would like him to look at.

    “She said it’s the story of a bisexual motorcycle-riding hacker in Stockholm who helps a disgraced journalist uncover this dark secret about a family in the north of Sweden,” recalls Fincher. “And I said, ‘Kat, nobody is going to make this movie. You’re just setting us up to be miserable again’. So I didn’t read it.

    …Yet, when he finally read both Larsson’s book and Steve Zaillian’s elegantly boiled-down screenplay, it wasn’t the notorious scenes of sodomy, sexual abuse and torture that most piqued his interest. That isn’t to say that his absorbing film stints on the novel’s darker elements – one almost unwatchably savage rape scene left his young star, Rooney Mara, “pretty badly beat up… black and blue. Even when you’re faking it, that stuff leaves a mark,” he says.

    What really fascinated Fincher was not “the pulp thriller side” of the book but the peculiarity of the bond between Salander and Blomkvist. “The way they fit together; the way that he hurts her; the way that she allows him to hurt her – all that stuff.”

    Can we at least stop pretending that Stieg Larsson’s books are fine literature? They’re pulp. Packed with perversity, sex and violence. That’s why they’re bestsellers. (Don’t kid yourself). They’re a step above Dan Brown, as far as literary quality. So what? Mario Puzo never won the Pulitzer Prize either. Trashy novels often make awesome movies.

  185. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    the “tedious” Swedish movie you are talking about got better reviews than Fincher’s version, so that is a very subjective take, Ryan. Roger Ebert gave it a four star review, among others.

  186. December 30, 2011

    ^
    yeah, and Bridesmaids got better reviews than Inglourious Basterds.

    you win! your numbers defeat me!

  187. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    And how does he elevate it? As I said, it is very literal take on the source material (which as far as literary quality goes, is unintentional pulp, yes). And if what you are saying is true, tell me, what attracted Fincher to this project in the first place? Th fun of working with a bad novel?? How gracious of him…!

  188. December 30, 2011

    so that is a very subjective take, Ryan.

    Do I really need to preface everything I say with “I feel — and this is only my opinion — in my view….”

    Your views are fairly subjective too, right?
    So are Ebert’s opinions: Subjective.

    Guess whose subjective opinion matters to more to ME than Roger Ebert’s subjective opinion.

  189. December 30, 2011

    And how does he elevate it?

    In my eyes. Fincher made a movie that is better than the book. To me.
    (do I have to say this is my subjective opinion, or is that understood now?)

    tell me, what attracted Fincher to this project in the first place?

    I’m supposed to look into Fincher’s mind for you now? Here, hold onto my subjective thingy.

    Yet, when he finally read both Larsson’s book and Steve Zaillian’s elegantly boiled-down screenplay, it wasn’t the notorious scenes of sodomy, sexual abuse and torture that most piqued his interest…

    What really fascinated Fincher was not “the pulp thriller side” of the book but the peculiarity of the bond between Salander and Blomkvist. “The way they fit together; the way that he hurts her; the way that she allows him to hurt her – all that stuff.”

    Remember that? From two comments up?

  190. Pierre de Plume
    December 30, 2011

    @Kt re Young Adult: There’s a good film in there somewhere but the script was not ready for filming. Theron’s character came off flat because she focussed on playing depression, which doesn’t work unless you add something to it. It may have been real (“all-too-real,” as you say), but in the case of playing depression, an actor needs to add something else to make the character interesting.

  191. diane
    December 30, 2011

    I don`t get it why EW cover story is now taken seriously as Mara being the contender that can push out hopefulls who did much better with precursors than she? It`s no rocket science to see that she got GG nom because Williams is competing in comedy.

    Also, considering that the movie is underperforming, this is a desperate attempt to raise interest in the movie where relentless 24-7 overmarketing failed. I guess that Best Picture miracle is the only hope for GWTDT to get legs and break even domesticlaly cause it`s clearly not gonna happen otherwise.

    Finally, world`s coolest heroine? LOL. Can`t wait to see EW forget that come March and Jennifer Lawrence takes center stage on the cover for Hunger Games. These guys write the same stuff for everyone, so should we put J-Law among 2012 contenders based on that?

  192. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    And it also sucks if it flops. That makes it harder and harder for R-rated films once again. Seems to me that only comedies fair in R today.

    If I want an Alien prequel, I don’t want a PG-13 Prometheus, I want it to be in line with the 1979 film.

  193. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    I think we can both agree that two adaptations of the same source material is probably more suitable for comparison than Bridesmaids and IB…but, yeah, you are right: we should not use metacritic numbers as the holy grail of any discussion, it is just interesting to notice in this case, I think. But, ultimately, futile, indeed.

    If what Fincher and Zaillian wanted to do with the source material was to emphasize the relation between Salander and Blomkvist, it is odd that the remake spends suspiciously less time on establishing Blomkvist as a character than the original. It is almost like Blomkvist becomes obsolete; we get no real sense of his history (unlike in the original), which is a problem that the film never recovers from. We don’t get to care for Blomkvist in Craig’s bland portrayal of him (granted, he has precious little to do with, because Zaillian finds him not so important…).

  194. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Ryan, come on, I randomly wrote the word “subjective” once, you don’t have to make a big deal out of that, do you? That’s patronizing, frankly…

  195. December 30, 2011

    I randomly wrote the word “subjective” once, you don’t have to make a big deal out of that, do you? That’s patronizing, frankly…

    That was your argument. Telling me my opinion somehow doesn’t carry much weight for you because it’s subjective.

    To me, that’s patronizing.

    Maybe I’ve figured out why we don’t see the same value in this movie:

    I think I like the movie and you don’t.

  196. steve50
    December 30, 2011

    Subjectivity accusation: I have never read anything on this site that wasn’t subjective, including those bloody metacritic numbers that are based entirely on someone else’s subjective take, or the box office ratings, based on the paying audience’s very subjective choices about what they want to see. Isn’t that the whole point, subjectively speaking?

    Pulp novels into film: Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, From Here to Eternity, The Maltese Falcon, Jurassic Park, The Thin Man, James Bond (pick one), Planet of the Apes, Doctor Zhivago, etc. Doesn’t mean the film will improve on the material, but often, it does.

  197. FilmFatale
    December 30, 2011

    Ryan-

    The orog

  198. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Ok, fair enough. You got that right. I don’t like it.

    One last thing: the nihilistic streak that is so apparent in this film, what do you get from that? What makes it interesting to you? What does it say about Fincher as a filmmaker? Is the nihilism just a marketable proposition because it fits so nicely with his visual style? Or is there any kind of substance behind it, do you think? Does he want to communicate some kind of worldview? And in that case, how has that “worldview” (if a nihilist frame of mind deserves that labeling), evolved within his entire oeuvre?

    It is one thing, that Mara/Salander “kicks ass” (a prime heroine for the goth girls out there, the teenage girls who tire of Twilight…), but what about the rest? I would like to know what a fan of the film thinks about these things instead of always focusing on Mara’s performance…

  199. FilmFatale
    December 30, 2011

    Ryan-

    Why so much venom for the original film? I may be wrong, but I believe the original film was theatrical and the second two, both inferior, were made for television.

    I agree with those above that the original film has real, and very dark, evil in it, a better sleuth story with the pair is leads who felt much more like a team, and more importunely a gutsier, more feral and more fascinating Lisbeth — who was really like a “don’t fuck with me” cruise missile ripping through the movie. Also found it highly cinematic and it is shot in widescreen with superb lighting and framing.

  200. December 30, 2011

    Thanks, steve50

    More pulp novels into film:
    The Silence of the Lambs
    The Postman Always Rings Twice
    Double Indemnity
    Mildred Pierce

    James M. Cain, master of tightly crafted pulp. Even though he wrote Mildred Pierce as a social-realist domestic melodrama, it was a bestseller sensation because it was dripping with sex and perversity. (the violence was added for the movie.)

  201. SuzyQTip
    December 30, 2011

    Why must the supposedly much-sought-after breakthrough actress always be white? I never understand that. As America gets browner, taste-makers considerations remain decidedly Caucasian.

    Where’s the love for Adepero Oduye in Pariah?

  202. December 30, 2011

    Why so much venom for the original film? I may be wrong, but I believe the original film was theatrical and the second two, both inferior, were made for television.

    I believe all three novels were optioned for broadcast TV in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. It was only after they became such a sensation that the 3-hour TV version was edited down for a theatrical cut for international distribution.

    Venom? I just don’t care for it. Is that ok? It wasn’t what I wanted. It’s not the Lisbeth I had imagined. The 40 mins of the movie I first endured threatened to ruin whatever regard I had for the book. So I stopped watching it. I didn’t like it. I don’t think that’s poisonous venom.

    Lots of people like the original. You’re not alone.

    Niels Arden Oplev is a television director. Check his credits on IMDb. Looks like 95% or more of his projects have been for broadcast TV.

    To me, that’s easy to see from looking at the movie.

  203. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    All three movies were shot back-to-back thinking they would be 3hrs each, making it a 6-episode miniseries. TV funding was crucial. Only the first one (Dragon Tattoo) was made with a bigger budget cause that was meant for theaters before DVD and TV. Depending on its success, they were to decide whether or not the last two will be seen in theaters or just on DVD, and eventually on TV.

    So, they made longer versions of all three, but obviously edited them shorter for theaters.

    The longer versions had been aired on TV here (in all Nordic countries) before the first one even got its DVD release in USA.

    TV funding is important here. In the case Dragon Tattoo alone (15M euro budget), you need that 500,000 euros from Finnish National Broadcasting Company, for example. Sweden has less than 10M people, it would make profit only if ALL Swedes saw it – and that is not happening.

  204. December 30, 2011

    the nihilistic streak that is so apparent in this film, what do you get from that? What makes it interesting to you?

    What makes it interesting to me, personally, is pretty simple. I have a borderline nihilist outlook on life myself. Not many directors immerse themselves in that attitude in a way that feels sincere to me, but Fincher gets it.

    What does it say about Fincher as a filmmaker?

    I don’t know how to answer that. I’m not even sure he’d like to think of himself as a nihilist or to be viewed that way.

    I’m not trying to being evasive. but I really don’t understand the question. That’s like saying, “Nietzsche is a nihilist. What does that say about him as a philosopher?”

    dunno, you mean other than he was genius at it? Do we need more than that? Nietzche’s expression of his nihilism is breathtaking. Glad he took the time to express it. His nihilism is a fascinating cultural treasure.

    Is the nihilism just a marketable proposition because it fits so nicely with his visual style?

    sorry, baffled again. Nihilism as Marketing Proposition. Least popular course at Rotterdam School of Management.

    I’m gonna try not to be insulted that you might be suggesting it’s all some superficial affectation, like heroin chic.

  205. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    There may have been a short break between the first film and the next two – but not a long one. A couple weeks?

  206. December 30, 2011

    whoa, Tero. Thank you.
    I shouldn’t even have tried to grope around for an answer to TV/theatrical question. Should’ve passed it right along to you.

  207. December 30, 2011

    @ Ryan

    Don’t bother checking out the other two films, btw. The third one is on par with the first, but the second one was dreadful. The theatrical edit was incomprehensible – central characters with only one scene, subplots which are intensely dwelt upon for five minutes and then never mentioned again, a bumbling pace, no visual flair to any degree and stock characterisation which failed to develop either lead any further than the first film had. I haven’t read the books, but even I could tell that there was a hell of a lot of unnecessary stuff left in and necessary stuff left out.

  208. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    That’s not accurate, Ryan. The first movie was made for cinema, the last two for TV (which Arden Oplev had nothing to do with).

    Oplev worked with an ounce of Fincher’s budget, so naturally there is a difference, but the original is an effectively shot thriller, especially considering the budget. I would like to see what Fincher could have achieved on Oplev’s budget…it would have forced him to think out of the box, at least!
    Because no way would he have been able to do a significantly better job with that small amount of money than Oplev (who won a BAFTA for his work).

    How you can think ill of Rapace’s performance is simply beyond me…especially when you didn’t care about the book in the first place? How could she ruin it for you, if that’s the case…?

  209. December 30, 2011

    Paddy M! gosh, thanks.
    I wake up this morning and made to feel like I’m a leper because the Swedish film failed to knock my socks off.

  210. December 30, 2011

    I haven’t read the books, but even I could tell that there was a hell of a lot of unnecessary stuff left in and necessary stuff left out.

    What the book has that Zaillian and Fincher’s movie doesn’t: Twice as many red herrings in the form of a bunch more weird relatives.

    Also, 100 pages in the beginning where nothing happens.

  211. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Well, most people don’t get Nietzsche….Nietzsche was not a nihilist, he was an anti-nihilist advocating an uprooting of contemporary society’s mindless neutralizing of basic values…he vouched for a return to values, it was just a different set of values than what conformist society stood for.
    But let’s not go there. Read Nietzsche and you will see. He is the most misinterpreted philosopher ever.

    “I have a borderline nihilist outlook on life myself. Not many directors immerse themselves in that attitude in a way that feels sincere to me, but Fincher gets it.”

    That’s an evasive answer, at best.
    Let’s have this discussion some other time when you feel up for it. I was not trying to criticize Fincher, as much as scrutinizing his motives. He is hard to fathom for me, which might be a good thing. I think he is brilliant, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t see a coherent worldview, that’s all.

  212. December 30, 2011

    How you can think ill of Rapace’s performance is simply beyond me… especially when you didn’t care about the book in the first place?

    I didn’t care about the clumsily constructed and lurid little “mystery” . Lisbeth is an amazing creation. Interesting enough to follow through all 3 books. She tells her guardian that all she does is fetch coffee and xerox. I’d read 3 books about her doing that.

    10 minutes into the Swedish film, I was shutting down. I didn’t want to let Rapace replace the Lisbeth I had envisioned.

    Had my defenses ready to lock down for Fincher’s version too, but in 10 minutes I could see that Rooney Mara was going to be the Lisbeth I knew.

    And then I wrote this post.

  213. Shy
    December 30, 2011

    Enough with this flop. It failed financially (only 40 millions from 100 budget. And who knows how much they spend of promotion. And it will not cross $100 millions mark at the end) and if failed at awards nominations. Only one ridiculous Golden Globe nomination. And we know who they nominate. They nominate the ones who are in the press.

    And I really don’t think that sequel will happen. For who will it be? They gave that aggressive promotion. And still it failed. It did not turn out like some Sherlock or Mission blockbuster. And it did not turn in Social Network. It was ignored by critics. Sure they gave good reviews. Like they gave good reviews to Mission Impossible. But that was it. Basically movie failed on on accounts. And if they couldn’t bring viewers now then I don’t think they will get them in second part. I don’t believe trilogy will happen.

    And it looks like Rooney Mara will not become Jennifer Lawrence and Carey Mulligan. Simply because Rooney is boring and empty for people to care about her. Take out that Lisbeth make up and look at her in premieres and interviews and it’s just emptiness.

  214. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    “Enough with this flop.”

    Not really a right thing to say ON a Dragon Tattoo themed thread.

    Aren’t we glad this was not hijacked by boys with magical wands and wizard hats?

  215. December 30, 2011

    (only 40 millions from 100 budget0

    $90 million budget
    $40 million in 1 week is fine.
    It’ll come close to meeting its budget, domestic.
    It might earn another $200 million or more overseas.

    So you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    It did not turn out like some Sherlock or Mission blockbuster.

    oh no!

  216. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Exactly, Tero, that’s one clearly good thing about this thread; it hasn’t been hi-jacked by the HP mafia yet…:)
    Inctredible….215 posts and no one about Potter (that must be a record this season on AD)

  217. December 30, 2011

    TOO LATE TERO!!!

    Roney Mara has nothing on Harry Potter. Is her film named Best Film of the Century, best reviews of all time. grossed 14billion worldwide and the final film in the greatest film series anyone has ever seen. it deserved to be nominated to the Best Picture Oscars. Its so better than The Girlm with the Dragon Tattoo

  218. December 30, 2011

    Oh dear, we’ve been infected.

  219. December 30, 2011

    OCO 300 upgraded to COC 5000?

    great. Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

    Just wanna say — thanks to everybody for the great discussion. Nice to see all the support, and the disagreements were friendly.

    As far as We Need to Talk About Kevin vs. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — they’re both in my Top 5 this year.

    And we’re all looking forward to Noomi Rapace in Prometheus, right? Huggz all around.

  220. Tero Heikkinen
    December 30, 2011

    I learned my lesson. Better just be quiet next time.

    But welcome back COCK 3″.

  221. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Ah, ok…huggz right back at ya!:)

  222. December 30, 2011

    I just don’t see a coherent worldview, that’s all

    …**
    I’m at a loss. Not trying to weasel out, but yeesh.

    What’s Hitchcock’s coherent worldview?
    What’s Warhol’s coherent worldview?
    What’s Lady Gaga’s coherent worldview?

    I took a helluva lot of film classes and Orson Welles’ coherent worldview never came up on an exam.

  223. Dominik
    December 30, 2011

    “Coleman and Mara would brilliantly round out the slate of Best Actress nominees.”

    If only we could vote, Ryan! ;-)

    But I would also like to question Streep and probably replace her from your wish-list. I mean, there are so many great female performances this year, and I can only take Streeps pantomime acting style every second of her movies (I liked her very much in “Julie & Julia”)…

  224. FilmFatale
    December 30, 2011

    Well Ryan, since you asked, it’s clear what Lady Gaga’s world view is — stop bullying, accept people for who they are and practice embracing what makes you “you” — in other words, self-acceptance and affording the same to everyone else.

  225. December 30, 2011

    Lady Gaga’s world view is — stop bullying, accept people for who they are and practice embracing what makes you “you” — in other words, self-acceptance and affording the same to everyone else.

    I hate to bicker, but shouldn’t that be every normal human’s attitude?
    seems more like just simple civilized behavior rather than a Coherent World View.

    I’d hate to have to concoct a PhD thesis around Do Unto Others.

    If the answer is that easy, then I know Fincher’s world view: Thou Shalt Not Kill.

  226. murtaza
    December 30, 2011

    @ ryan
    just because swedish movie was a television film and fincher’s film is for cinema doesn’t make it any better. maybe you have a problem of mindset that television or perhaps european work cannot out do american cinema.
    swedish film got better reviews, even at metacritic. It’s fine if you didn’t like the swedish version but there was nothing to be bored about in forty minutes and majority would say that. that film won BAFTA and BFCA, it wasn’t bad at all and neither was noomi rapace.
    as for steven zaillian, he’s not at all an exemplary craftsman. his best work to date is schindler’s list and awakenings rest including gangs of new york, american gangster were strictly okay. not to mention his hideous credits for mission impossible, hannibal and god awful all the kings men which he also directed pathetically. so i guess it isn’t too difficult to believe that zaillian saw the mediocre movie (as u say it was) which won awards around the globe and got tremendous acclaim and even if he didn’t see it he failed to overshadow the original one by a considerable margin we all thought he would. maybe for you he did but not for many, maybe that’s why the film is not getting heavy nominations anywhere.

  227. December 30, 2011

    FilmFatale,

    I see what you’re saying. But to me probing an artist’s Coherent World View seems to demand a deeper answer than “stop bullying” yes?

    like, whoa, that’s some weighty terminology. I could not even begin to define my OWN Coherent World View. Much less Fincher’s or Warhol’s or Mozart’s.

  228. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    David Lynch’s coherent worldview – do until others as this is not a pipe. Square, chicken, decaying teeth and the like.

  229. December 30, 2011

    maybe you have a problem of mindset that television or perhaps european work cannot out do american cinema.

    No.
    If that were true then I wouldn’t think Von Trier’s The Kingdom or Forbrydelsen or Berlin Alexanderplatz were so genius.

    maybe some of you guys have a problem with me having my own taste whenever it doesn’t exactly match yours.

    “…or perhaps european work cannot out do american cinema.”

    please gimme a break.
    take a look at my top 20 favorite movies of 2011. Half of them are international films.

    1. Drive
    2. The Tree of Life
    3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    4. Hugo
    5. Mysteries of Lisbon
    6. We Need to Talk About Kevin
    7. A Separation
    8. Moneyball
    9. Certified Copy
    10. 13 Assassins
    11. Margin Call
    12. I Saw the Devil
    13. Clash (2009)
    14. Attack the Block
    15. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    16. City of Life and Death
    17. Melancholia
    18. Pariah
    19. The Double Hour
    20. Rampart

  230. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    Or Fanny and Alexander, which is one of your favourites – yes.

  231. December 30, 2011

    yes! Mattoc, thank you! Fanny & Alexander has endless depth. Will probably never stop discovering all it has to offer.

    And Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, while we’re at it, right?

    and the TV cut of Das Boot
    and the TV cut of The Last Emperor

    I have huge respect for TV productions.
    Downton Abby and Mildred Pierce and John Adams and Band of Brothers make The King’s Speech look like a sausage hors d’oeuvre on a toothpick.

  232. Benjamin Forestieri
    December 30, 2011

    “I can see we have a problem here with people — even smart people — confusing a dark psychological horror like We Need to Talk About Kevin with a rougher genre film like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that’s violent, sexy, perverse.”

    I like Ryan, but this is borderline condescending. WNTTK is just a superior film

  233. gabriel
    December 30, 2011

    I love Bergman!

  234. julian the emperor
    December 30, 2011

    Yeah, you are in your condescending mood today, Ryan…that’s fine. Still like you.

    You find a single word (“subjective”) and a phrase (“coherent worldview”) and you have fun with it. That’s fine. Next time, we debate something, let’s talk about substance, ok? Otherwise, it’s to no use.

    I could go into a discussion about what I mean about a “coherent worldview”, but for what reason? For you, to find a single word again and start another onslaught? No way. Pay attention to the substance of what I (and many others) have to say, instead of always picking out random words that don’t bear the whole meaning of what I am trying to say. I don’t do that with your posts, even though I could have gone nasty about your ignorance on Nietzsche and the real meaning of “the problem of nihilism”, according to him…well, I almost managed to refrain from that…almost.

    Anyways, you are bound to win any discussion with me. English is my third language and I am doing the best with what I got, ok? Simple as that.

  235. Julia
    December 30, 2011

    It’ll come close to meeting its budget, domestic.

    Not necessarily. Its screen average will cause it to bleed screens at a very fast rate. Meeting the budget domestically is the best case scenario and hardly what Sony was hoping for when they gave this franchise this budget, this director and this sort of marketing. Unless the movie hits it off internationally, the sequels will not be happening – and if they happen I suspect their budgets will be scaled down. (Vancouver can pass for Stockholm, right?)

    Really, there is no way to talk this up – this movie is not what it was supposed to be, not commercially, critically or awards-wise. It’s “fetch” and it isn’t happening.

  236. December 30, 2011

    “coherent worldview”

    Then just tell me what you mean. I’m clearly too thick-headed to understand. While you’re at it, please tell me why an artist or writer or filmmaker needs to have the burden of demonstrating a coherent worldview laid on his work.

    Honestly, give me a clue what you’re asking. Give me an example — Hitchcock should be an easy one, right? How does Hitch satisfy your worldview prerequisite?

    You throw all these criteria at me that I need to fill. I’m at a loss. I keep saying that. It means I need help understanding what sort of answer you’re looking for.

    Fincher’s a nihilist (you say). And then I need to tell you, “What does it say about Fincher as a filmmaker?”

    How about this. How about YOU tell ME what the heck it means for Fincher as a filmmaker that he’s a nihilist, because it’s not an urgent question that I’ve ever considered.

    I feel like I’m on the friggen witness stand here, julian the emperor. You get to choose all the hoops for me to jump through, and when I balk, baffled, then you mock me for me being condescending?

    I don’t feel like this is so friendly anymore.

  237. mel
    December 30, 2011

    Just got back from my third time….I feel the performance gets better each viewing as I have more time to dissect and digest it. And each time I am able to more fully appreciate what Fincher did with this. It is so far superior to the Swedish version that it blows my very mind some people prefer that movie.

    Not sure why Sony hasn’t released the box office, maybe they wanted people to stop harping on it. I went to an 11:30am show today and the theater was at least 3/4 full. I noticed quite a few older people(60s-70s) in the audience too. I want it to do well b/c I want to see more of Mara’s Salander and I want Fincher to come back.

  238. December 30, 2011

    even though I could have gone nasty about your ignorance on Nietzsche and the real meaning of “the problem of nihilism”

    Please don’t hold back. Lecture the fuck out of me. Knock some sense into my head,

    Buy me this book for Christmas so we can talk about this intelligently in a few weeks.

    I have ALWAYS associated my very basic understanding of nihilism with 2 fuckin names: Nietzsche & Kierkegaard

    I wish I had a buddy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation who would come help me understand — instead of belittling me as ignorant.

    Nietzsche’s famous atheism was no simple fashionable pose. It grew out of his entrails and led inexorably to his equally famous ‘nihilism’. But let’s be in no doubt about this: Nietzsche nihilism was no laughing matter. It was the horrified experiment of a man who having concluded that the Christian God could not exist drew the only inference that was open to him, namely that the universe was a meaningless mechanism that cared not a fig for humanity and its doings because the ability to care was not part of its structure.

    What sane person is devoted to being a card-carrying proud nihilist? Just because a nihilistic outlook might trouble us and we might abhor having that nihilistic abyss gaze into us — we might hate nihilism the same way Nietzsche was gloomed out about it and argued against it — but I don’t think our philosophical anxiety about that abyss can’t still qualify as nihilism.

    but if it’s easier for you to smirk about me being ignorant, go for it. That’s really gonna make me feel all cuddly and un- nihilistic about how this day is going from the minute I woke up.

    just keep slinging impossibly complex questions at me — because that’s the main reason I think Rooney Mara is terrific. I just love how she brings out the attack dogs and smarmy dismissals.

  239. December 30, 2011
    “I can see we have a problem here with people — even smart people — confusing a dark psychological horror like We Need to Talk About Kevin with a rougher genre film like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that’s violent, sexy, perverse.”

    I like Ryan, but this is borderline condescending. WNTTAK is just a superior film

    I like you too, Benjamin Forestieri. I don’t know you, but you’re being gentler with me than some people I thought were my buddies.

    Heck, I’m grateful that half your sentence is nice — before you pile on.

    Please believe me when I say I think you’ve misunderstood me. In no way was I weighing the relative merits of WNTTAK and TGWTDT.

    My point — if anybody cares to scroll up — was simply that I don’t think it’s valid to say, “If the Academy can handle the darkness of Kevin then they can handle the darkness of Lisbeth.”

    – because for one thing, it’s not KEVIN who’s being considered for best actress. It’s his mother. And his mother wasn’t dark. She was just enveloped by her son’s darkness, right?

    Tilda Swinton’s movie does not have to overcome voters’ recoil at Tilda wielding an ass-rape dildo and a tattoo gun, right? Tilda is the tormented victim in her dark movie.

    Rooney Mara doesn’t get to have a nervous breakdown and see her world collapse like Tilda Swinton does.

    Can nobody see how Tilda Swinton’s character is a little easier for Academy members to swallow than Rooney Mara’s character?

    That’s all I meant, ok? I mean that Dragon Tattoo is a whole ‘nother kind of darkness from the darkness in Kevin.

    I wasn’t ranking the two movies side by side in terms of quality — (although obviously, for me, I’ve already said they’re both in my Top 5 of the year.)

    You don’t have to agree about my Top 5, Benjamin.
    But please don’t think I’m being condescending by my frustration at trying to explain the darkness thing.

    You’re a smart person, right?
    You didn’t get my meaning, right?

    Is it condescending for me to say that?

  240. steve50
    December 30, 2011

    “I have huge respect for TV productions.”

    I’ve been wondering what we would have ended up with had HBO or AMC secured the rights to all three books, same cast and director. A larger, more appreciative audience, for sure, and far less puritanical judgement come Emmy time. But that’s just my nihistic nihilistic world view of the current American movie industry, I guess.

  241. steve50
    December 30, 2011

    nihilistic – I’m too depressed to type with all fingers.

  242. mel
    December 30, 2011

    Can nobody see how Tilda Swinton’s character is a little easier for Academy members to swallow than Rooney Mara’s character?

    Yes, and I don’t understand why others don’t seem to get what you meant.

  243. December 30, 2011

    I’ve been wondering what we would have ended up with had HBO or AMC secured the rights to all three books, same cast and director.

    We’ll get to see what David Fincher does with long-form episodic narrative when he and Kevin Spacey bring us the new adaptation of House of Cards in few months — (Spacey in the Ian Richardson role, Fincher producing and directing the pilot episode — and maybe more to follow.)

    I talked to Kevin Spacey a couple of weeks ago (!!) and he said they start filming in March.

    It’ll be available as a Netflix original series.

    You think you have a nihilistic attitude about the movie industry — you should hear Mr Spacey’s world view. I’ll post the pod-cast in a few days.

    It’ll be really subjective, but still worth a listen.

  244. mel
    December 30, 2011

    Can someone contact me about registering? I keep trying, but the same unclear “random question” that keeps me from registering is also required to send a message about having trouble registering.

  245. December 30, 2011

    mel,
    hit me up at ryanadams.AD@gmail.com

    I don’t know nuthin about the random question, but will try to help you sort it out.

    meanwhile, your comments are coming through fine. I don’t know if there’s any great advantage to being registered.

  246. mel
    December 30, 2011

    Thanks, Ryan. I was trying to register for the forums. I’ve decided I like this website and the kind of chat that takes place here. It’s nice.

  247. December 30, 2011

    ^
    Please don’t think this particular discussion is an example of how nice the movie chat can be on the site.

    there’s usually a whole lot less ass-rape going on.

    [Beth Stevens is our forums pro. I'll let her know you're having trouble, ok?]

  248. Mattoc
    December 30, 2011

    My guess it that julian is saying that he likes Fincher, but the sum of his parts, don’t add up to a consistent approach? He can’t read him and therefore questions his motives.

  249. fran
    December 31, 2011

    Mara is spoiled , her interviews a flawed and arrogant..only because she copied Noomi Rapace doesn’t mean she proved anything, maybe if she keeps her mouth shut …no..not even than.

    .sorry about my english

  250. December 31, 2011

    ^
    your English is ok, fran
    commented edited because it was too hateful

  251. Mel
    December 31, 2011

    I don’t understand all the people saying she comes off bad in interviews. She comes off as genuine and honest and not putting on a publicity show. It’s refreshing. She just is who she is, let’s cherish that for now until the Hollywood machine changes her into everyone else. (hoping it doesn’t)

  252. Daveylow
    January 1, 2012

    I’ve been reading and commenting on this site more years than I can imagine but I gave up trying to disagree with certain passions here the year of The Hurt Locker when I was told in no uncertain terms that I was a idiot for not liking the film. Fortunately a lot of wonderful talent gets championed here as well like Martin Scorsese and Hugo which would be my choices at Oscar time.

  253. Daveylow
    January 1, 2012

    I just read the EW interview with Mara and I don’t see her coming off as arrogant at all. I hope she means it when she says she doesnt care about an Oscar nomination.

  254. Nily
    January 1, 2012

    agree with Mel 100% Im tired of traditional ‘polite’ celebs with traditional fake smiles & traditional answers to traditional reporter’s questions
    She seems honest & speaks her mind. There are enough charming Clooneys & Tom Cruises.

    saw the movie 2ce & it really even more amazing the more u watch it.
    Thank U Ryan & Sasha. Its great u support this film .
    almost totally agree with you about Swedish movies. though They were OK to me & I loved Noomi’s portrayal but it didnt feel like the book Lisbeth. She was too hit-womanish to me. Rooney brought what I loved in the book. She’s multidimensional, vulnerable yet fierce & evokes so many emotions while the previous girl mainly ‘Hell yeah! U go girl!’
    again imho obviously ))

    too bad there wont be sequels((( I really liked Daniel & Rooney together & the thought that we’ll never see the end of the 2nd book & other great Lisbeth/Mikael moments with them is killing me(((
    I really hoped it could prove haters wrong& kick their a**es like Casino Royale did in 2006 with great BO & critics alike.

    sorry my english is pooor)))

  255. Nily
    January 1, 2012

    +
    dont think she has a chance to be nominated(((

    I want to believe in miracles but this year its hard…

  256. January 1, 2012

    I gave up trying to disagree with certain passions here the year of The Hurt Locker when I was told in no uncertain terms that I was a idiot for not liking the film.

    Daveylow,

    then maybe you have an inkling what it’s like for me to be told I’m ignorant about Nietzsche, informed that I must have a problem with foreign films, told that I’m a venomous, patronizing sell-out because I like Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth better than I do Noomi’s

    don’t get we wrong — I’m not bothered by attacks like that. But that’s a typical afternoon at Awards Daily for me and Sasha.

    If you see anywhere in these 250 comments where I’ve been unfair to someone or didn’t brook any dissent, tell me which comment and I’ll cross out whatever I said that bothers you. like this. So that everybody can see how awful I am.

    Always happy to see you in the comments. Sorry you feel you’ve been treated harshly. It’s a harsh environment here on the comment pages.

    We play rough. But I think we all respect each other and find ways to stay friendly.

  257. daveylow
    January 1, 2012

    Ryan, the only year I really wanted to leave this site forever was the year of The Hurt Locker. I try not to post anything here without thinking about it first.

    I never attack the poster which was why I was so taken aback when I mentioned I didn’t love The Hurt Locker I was told by Sasha I believe that I didn’t know what I was talking about. Which was extremely hurtful because I have been studying and watching movies for years. I’ve since decided to just let it go because things get posted here in the heat of the moment.

    I’ve also written both of you through private e-mails how much I appreciate the site.

    Anyhow I found your put-down of The King’s Speech interesting because in the same sentence you mention John Adams as a good example of TV filmmaking. Tom Hooper was behind both these projects and I think his directorial skills are apparent in both these projects. But because The Social Network was so beloved by some, Hooper was trashed relentlessly here for The King’s Speech for not being good enough, which I found puzzling and almost absurd.

    As far as Mara goes, I don’t have strong feelings one way or another. But because Rapace was so good as Lisbeth in the Swedish film, it would be kind of a shame of Mara were nominated for the English language version and Rapace was overlooked for the Swedish film, mainly because she is foreign.

  258. January 1, 2012

    It failed financially (only 40 millions from 100 budget.

    $90mil budget
    $60mil box-office in 12 days

    hasn’t even opened internationally yet

  259. OCO 300
    January 1, 2012

    @Ryan Adams kinda like (failed financially) Margin Call, A Better Life, Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Melancholia, and Win Win?

  260. Tero Heikkinen
    January 1, 2012

    It has opened in many countries, but not the bigger ones (outside USA/UK), and they have not counted the box office yet. I believe it opened #1 here.

    But we do know that it has to make something like 250M worldwide to break even. It was probably a bit too expensive. On the other hand, even Tintin is not making profit yet – and that has been out for two months in Europe.

  261. daveylow
    January 1, 2012

    Anne Thompson made a good point in her comments about TGWTDT on Indie Wire. Why did the film cost $100 million to make? Where did the money go?

  262. January 1, 2012

    Anyhow I found your put-down of The King’s Speech interesting because in the same sentence you mention John Adams as a good example of TV filmmaking.

    Here’s another thing you might find interesting. I can’t stand Gran Torino or Million Dollar Baby and yet I feel Unforgiven is one of the greatest westerns of all time. That’s not a contradiction or conflict.

    Do you think I’m not aware Tom Hooper directed John Adams? I’m capable of distinguishing between his work that I like and his work that I don’t like.

    Can you help me figure out how this discussion got hijacked into a therapy session thrashing me for my feelings about Tom Hooper?

    I wrote this about Rooney Mara. Wasn’t expecting anybody to see it as an opportunity to dredge up past butthurt from 2 years ago.

    It’s always puzzling to me how people can talk about bruised feelings over things Sasha and I have written — but it’s apparently fair game to throw shit in our faces, totally unprovoked, out of the blue.

    Hooper was trashed relentlessly here for The King’s Speech for not being good enough, which I found puzzling and almost absurd.

    That’s fine. What I find puzzling and absurd is a Best Director Oscar for Tom Hooper. Looks like we disagree. How about you try shrug it off as I’ve tried to do?

  263. Mel
    January 1, 2012

    too bad there wont be sequels((( I really liked Daniel & Rooney together & the thought that we’ll never see the end of the 2nd book & other great Lisbeth/Mikael moments with them is killing me(((

    Have you heard something I haven’t?

  264. January 1, 2012

    Don’t give up on the sequels just yet.

  265. January 1, 2012

    Anne Thompson made a good point in her comments about TGWTDT on Indie Wire. Why did the film cost $100 million to make?

    How is that a “good point”?

    oh my goodness! where did the money go?!

    Anne Thompson is self-appointed Hollywood penny-pincher now? Ask her where did the money go for Tintin. I want to see the paperwork. Receipts! Show me the receipts. How else am I to know if the money was well-spent.

  266. Mel
    January 1, 2012

    Oh, I’m not giving up on them. I really think this movie seems to be doing about what they thought. They expect it to have legs and I think it will. Though it does make me nervous that Sony isn’t committing yet.

  267. Mel
    January 1, 2012

    According to mojo, it picked up a hell of a lot of steam today. It was up 58% from yesterday and is third for the day. Good lord, The Chipmunks is falling fast….I can’t believe the public is done with such fine filmmaking!

    I also notice that GWTDT is on significantly fewer screens than the other top 4 it’s been wrestling with.

  268. January 1, 2012

    The PR material Sony is distributing for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo says:
    “first of Columbia Pictures three-picture adaptation…”

    That was the plan 2 weeks ago. Things can change, sure. But this movie will make a lot of money. A lot of people will get a lot richer from finishing the trilogy.

    It’s false to think a movie is a failure if it doesn’t earn back triple its budget. $200 million or more flowing back into Sony’s coffers is not a failure. Trilogies mean box-sets of DVDs and blu-rays. The trilogy could conceivably generate $1 billion when all the income is added up 3 years from now.

    The $90mil spent wasn’t burned in a bonfire. It paid a lot of salaries, made a lot filmmakers wealthier.

    That’s why the Anne Thompson remark is so naive.

  269. January 1, 2012

    Thanks Mel. I hadn’t seen the percentage uptick.

    I also notice that GWTDT is on significantly fewer screens than the other top 4 it’s been wrestling with.

    Let’s remember too — it’s a hard-R rated movie competing with a slew of PG family films during a holiday when kids are on break from school.

  270. Mel
    January 1, 2012

    The film opened in the U.K. and five other smaller markets and collected $8.3M overall from 1,540 sites in 14 markets.

    In its first full week of release across the Atlantic, the Rooney Mara and David Craig-toplined thriller grossed $6.7M from 920 screens, a take that already surpasses the $2.34M total that the version starring Naomi Rapace earned.

    Looks like it’s gonna be the top movie overseas, it was this weekend and it’s not even in wide release over there, but was still the top-grossing film.

  271. Mel
    January 1, 2012

    Let’s remember too — it’s a hard-R rated movie competing with a slew of PG family films during a holiday when kids are on break from school.

    Definitely true. I was talking with the film critic at work and we discussed how R movies never have big box office blowouts b/c of the restrictions on who can see it….if they make money it’s a slower burn.

  272. January 2, 2012

    @Ryan Adams kinda like (failed financially) Margin Call, A Better Life, Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Melancholia, and Win Win?

    OCO 300, you’re exactly right.

    i’ll worry about how much money a movie makes when I’m a producer
    until then what matters to me is seeing the budget splashed effectively all over the screen

    it only costs me $8 no matter how much money the studio spends or earns. I’m grateful for the lavish extravagance I get to see for such small cost to me.

    studios are rolling in cash. I appreciate that they reinvest in a few pricey productions with uncertain prospects of profit.

  273. Ashley
    January 2, 2012

    @Rob
    I had to comment when I saw what you wrote. What are you talking about? What do you define as an “oscar type role”? Because I define a role as Oscar worthy by the strength of the performance and the ability of the actor to embody a character. And Rooney Mara was insanely good in both those categories. It doesn’t matter if you like the film or not, it’s undeniable. She deserves an Oscar nomination.
    @Tony
    Oh, please. The book had bad language too. People need to get over themselves. It didn’t detract from the perfomances or the plot. And it sounds to me like your a Swedish Dragon Tattoo fanboy which is the real problem you have with it, when the films are two completely different adaptation. You agree that Lisbeth is not an Oscar worthy role, yet praise Rapace’s perfomance? Interesting.

    Anyways, in my opinion the film was great and Rooney was excellent. Go see it.

  274. Ashley
    January 2, 2012

    Also, I had to say that I agree with this article. I don’t think Rooney Mara will get nominated but I hope she does. In my opinion she deserves it.

    And about the critics of TGWTDT: I’ve read at least 6 glowing critical reviews and heard many, many more from just regular people who went and saw it. Plus, a lot of the criticism is doled out by people who refuse to consider that the American film may be better than the Swedish one. Sometimes foreign films are amazing, sometimes they’re not. In this case, I agree with Ryan. I thought the Swedish film was pretty bad. Actually, not as bad as he did but still very mediocre. And TGWTDT (2011) has an 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so apparently a lot of cricis like it.

    And as far as the box office take, like was already pointed out it’s made 60 million solely domestically in 12 days. That’s without international sales and while competing against pg-13 blockbuster types such as Sherlock Holmes and Mission Impossible during a holday. So yeah, people are grossly underestimating the financial potential of this film in my opinion.

  275. January 3, 2012

    Sequel Update:

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has earned just over $72 million worldwide since its release on December 20. Those numbers aren’t as high as studio execs would have liked, but a Sony rep insisted earlier today that the sequel is still moving forward.

    “[Dragon Tattoo] continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book.”

    Steven Zaillian, who adapted The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from Stieg Larsson’s novel, is currently writing the script for The Girl Who Played with Fire. However, David Fincher has not decided yet if he will return to direct The Girl Who Played with Fire.

    Stars Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig have deals in place for The Girl Who Played with Fire, and it is said that Sony is targeting a late 2013 release date for the sequel.

  276. March 6, 2012

    sandra fluke
    I can relate to this article patricia heaton

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