To continue our streak, my husband, my daughter, and I saw the David Fincher version of the first book in the Millennium Trilogy.  The movie is faithful to the book as was the Swedish version.

Daniel Craig is as good in the role of Mikael as was the Swedish actor.  In fact, there is a resemblance between the two men.   Craig brings star power to the role and his involvement may  lead to films based on the other two books.   There are a number of other actors in the cast who led credence to the story.

Then there is Rooney Mara in the only role that matters.  Mara’s Lisbeth is an entirely different person than Noomi Rapace’s interpretation of the character who is “the girl”.  Mara’s Lisbeth is softer than Rapace’s.  Lisbeth in the Fincher movie is “goth lite”.  Her appearance isn’t much different than that of some of the students I have had. Rapace’s Lisbeth projects a barely controlled menace.  Both women are small but Mara comes across as a waif; no one would find anything helpless about Lisbeth in the Swedish version.

When I saw Noomi Rapace in the role, I decided that she was what Larsson had in mind when he created Lisbeth.  So she is my Lisbeth. Mara was an acceptable Lisbeth but I think Fincher made a mistake.  Rooney Mara had many screen tests over the course of five months before Fincher choose her for what may be the best role for a female actor in a long time.  But the length of time ot took for Fincher to decide on Mara suggests that she wasn’t quite what he had in mind either.  Rapace has a Swedish accent and Mara had to create one.  Interestingly, my nephew’s wife is Swedish and she has virtually no accent at all.

Rapace was born in 1979.  Mara was born in 1985.  There isn’t a significant difference in their ages but I think Rapace brought an attitude of maturity to Lisbeth making her fury at having to put up with a guardian understandable.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO does justice to the book.  The book is a good yarn with elements of violence that I never thought I would pay money to see.  I read the book in a day.  The film runs 2 hours and 40 minutes and it goes quickly.  It is a good story that is well acted and it seems to have done well at the box office.  As I have mentioned before, my husband and I read the books but my daughter did not.  We all enjoyed the movie.  I recommend books and films, both versions.  The trilogy has sold in numbers most authors can only dream of.  That says something about the entertainment value.

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  1. I’m with you — Noomi Rapace IS The Girl.

  2. kathy d. says:

    I haven’t seen Rooney Mara play Lisbeth but I cannot imagine anyone playing that role better than she who is Lisbeth incarnate and that could only be Noomi Rapace. She had rage, and rightfully so. She was alienated yet wanted to connect with people, but much of her is shut down. She’s brilliant in so many ways, but so vulnerable in others. It’s all understandable given how abused (is abused even strong enough?), no, rather, she was tortured and tormented and raped.
    And Rapace conveyed all of the feelings one would have after having lived through years of it, seeing one’s mother battered nearly to death, if one were not catatonic or totally withdrawn, which would seem even more likely.
    I believed Rapace when she saved Blomkvist. She did mean it.

  3. kathy d. says:

    I see that the U.S.-made GWTDT is not doing well at the box office. I wonder why. In Sweden, the Millenium trilogy was almost a national treasure. It was an enormously good seller, and highly publicized and read. And Noomi Rapace was Lisbeth Salander.
    The trilogy is just not as popular over here with those who are the main moviegoers. And maybe it’s because of the cast. I’d say the violence but there are so many violent movies made here that I doubt that is the reason.

  4. Beth says:

    I think the majority of people who are going to the movie have read the books but I don’t think the converse is necessarily true. The movies, including the English version, are faithful to the books but that makes them rare. Perhaps people think the movie will ruin their appreciation of the books.

  5. Mark R Butler says:

    So, if TGWTDT is a trilogy, what are the names of the other two films. I really enjoyed the Noomi Rapace version…

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