The Girl with the Bunny Ear Hat

So, I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo over the holidays. It was great. Long but engrossing. Perhaps I should say long and engrossing.

And it’s interesting movie to sit through because it’s not a sweeping, effects-laden epic. It’s lean and no-frills, and somehow that ends up being the thing that’s interesting and thrilling about it. If you’re a person who objects to attempts to wring emotion from an audience through overwrought performances or a haunting score or whatever, this is the film for you.

I got the feeling the director wanted to let the story tell itself. Lay everything out for you and let you decide how you feel about it. There was almost a cool detachment in the directing style, which I found refreshing (even though I am one of those people who is not averse to being manipulated by a director). Extraordinarily wrenching and horrific things happen in this film. These things are treated matter-of-factly.

I watched–for kicks and grins–both the American and Swedish versions of the film. They’re pretty remarkably similar, though I think I prefer the American tweaks to the story. The best tweak, though, was in the casting. Rooney Mara gives an Oscar-caliber performance as the tortured namesake of the film. I think she’s what saves it from being downright icy, because her performance is so subtly heartbreaking. In fact, her performance as the bruised and battered–both literally and figuratively–Lisbeth was the superior one. She was tough and so vulnerable at the same time, so feral, but not in any kind of showy, over-the-top way…which is frankly what I braced myself for when I went to see this. If you don’t come away from the film wanting to give her a sandwich and a hug, you’re probably a horrible person. She’s the reason to see this TGDT. Well, the one that looms largest.

All in all, it was an extremely satisfying movie-going experience. And that’s something that doesn’t happen to me too often these days.

See.

PS–I would totally do Daniel Craig. Just sayin’.

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10 thoughts on “The Girl with the Bunny Ear Hat

  1. My sister in law (and BFF) and I went to see this movie last week too.
    We didn’t read the books and really didn’t want to see it quite frankly. A tip from Fish, telling me it was good and no-I didn’t need to have read the books in order to enjoy it, changed our minds.
    We couldn’t believe how much we enjoyed it and were surprised at ourselves for letting it be so far off of our radar!

    I totally agree. Lisbeth is the heart of this film. A victim but strangely, not one you end up feeling sorry for! You know that she will be OK. That, no matter all of the bad shit she’s been through, her heart is still intact and gives it freely to those deserving of her adoration.

    I was so sad at the end when Daniel Craig walked off with that Robin Wright! I thought that he had waaaay more chemistry with Lisbeth’s character. (again, strangely).

    Great review. You were right on with everything you wrote. 🙂

    ((Hugs))
    Laura

    • Yes, you definitely don’t need to have read the books, but the whole time I was watching I kept wishing I had, ya know?

      That, no matter all of the bad shit she’s been through, her heart is still intact and gives it freely to those deserving of her adoration.

      I guess that made me scared for her, because after all she’s been through I didn’t want to see her destroyed again.
      The end was so sad in a beautiful way. Made me glad there’s more to the story!

  2. I may have to check this film out, but I’m the type who’d definitely read the book first (gives me something to grumble about).

    Also, I can help but read the post title to this tune.

  3. I recently watched the Sweedish version, not really knowing anything about the books but having heard the buzz around the US movie.

    I was impressed. Very “real” — you could put yourself in all of the characters’ shoes (well…not all of them). I didn’t feel sorry for Lisbeth because she got hers. That’s a girl who can take car of herself.

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